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Esidimeni tragedy: Task team auditing NGOs to hand in report on Friday

The Health Ombudsman revealed 94 patients died after being transferred to NGOs unequipped to care for mentally-ill patients.

Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba (left) joined by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi (second left) give feedback on the Life Esidimeni patients' deaths. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng Provincial Government says it will only know how many patients remain in NGOs linked to the Life Esidimeni tragedy on Friday after a task team completes site visits.

Last week, the Health Ombudsman revealed that 94 psychiatric patients died after being transferred to 27 NGOs, which were not licensed to take care of the mentally-ill.

On Monday, new Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa was sworn in at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

The provincial government says a task team started visiting the 27 NGOs that are still taking care of psychiatric patients last Friday to do an audit of how many still need to be moved.

“We expect at least to have a report by Friday and we’ll be in a position to know what numbers we’re talking about.”

The provincial government says consultations are underway on an alternative dispute resolution to deal with closure and redress.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance has postponed a planned a picket which was meant to take place outside the premiers office on Tuesday.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)