Moseneke likens Esidimeni tragedy to how apartheid govt killed Biko

Former president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, Dr Mvuyiso Talatala, said that his organisation warned the Gauteng Health Department about moving patients from Esidimeni.

FILE: Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke is in charge of the Esidimeni dispute resolution process. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has likened how Esidimeni patients were treated by government to how the apartheid government treated Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko.

Moseneke is heading the Esidimeni Alternative Dispute Resolution process which is aimed at finding redress for the families who lost their loved ones.

One hundred and forty-three mentally ill people died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group and transfered them to ill-equipped NGOs, allegedly to save costs.

Former president of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, Dr Mvuyiso Talatala, has told the arbitration hearings that his organisation warned the Gauteng Health Department and took them to court twice to try and stop them from moving patients from Esidimeni.

He says that the government has a culture of not listening.

Moseneke then made the following comment.

“And the world is replete with examples isn’t it, where thieves and other people in power would order doctors to do things and doctors would do them and so much goes wrong.

“And that’s how Steve Biko died isn’t it? Doctors acted against their oath and then that helped and precipitated his death.”

Talatala’s testimony continues on Tuesday morning.

LISTEN: Justice Moseneke compares Esidimeni tragedy to how Steve Biko died