Psychologist believes Esidimeni patients were tortured
Clinical psychologist Coralie Trotter has been called to give evidence by Section 27, which represent the families of 55 people who died.
JOHANNESBURG - A clinical psychologist testifying at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings says she strongly believes some patients were tortured until their deaths.
Coralie Trotter has been called to give evidence by Section 27, which represent the families of 55 people who died.
One hundred and forty-three people have now been confirmed to have lost their lives because of the Esidimeni project.
The patients were taken to ill-equipped NGOs.
The project was signed off by disgraced former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, who has now accused the media of giving false reports about her and says she is committed to testifying.
Trotter is a seasoned clinical psychologist who has worked in the healthcare fraternity for several years.
Trotter says the victims of the Esidimeni tragedy were definitely tortured.
“This is not saying ‘okay you’re going to move but we’re going to do it in the most humane way possible’. This was done inhumanely, and so now we’re in the terrain of torture. And then that doesn’t stop because the patients are moved into these filthy, dangerous environments as if they’re not people.
“You’ve now got something that is a basic human right, which is water and food have become complex. That is torture.
She says in the years she has worked, even in trauma crisis situations, Esidimeni has to be the worst she’s ever seen.
“I was working with clinicians who were coming out of the prisons, coming back from Rwanda. So my exposure to trauma is pervasive and vast, and I have never seen levels of trauma like this - ever.”