Mother of survived Esidimeni patient still traumatised by his deterioration
Nompilo Nkosi says her mother became ill after hearing about the transfers and has still not fully recovered.
JOHANNESBURG - A woman whose brother survived the deadly Esidimeni project says her mother is still traumatised and guilt-ridden at seeing his deterioration and having no choice but to keep him institutionalised.
Nompilo Nkosi says she grew increasingly frustrated after personally writing to President Jacob Zuma and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and joining a march to the Gauteng Health Department to raise concerns about the disastrous project.
Over 140 psychiatric patients died after the department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group allegedly to save costs.
Nkosi is a member of the Esidimeni family committee.
She and others had filed affidavits in the High Court in an attempt to interdict the Gauteng Health Department from moving patients to NGOs.
She’s told retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that her mother became ill after hearing about the transfers and has still not fully recovered.
“She got sick and is still sick. She complains of pains in her body, goes to the doctors a lot and misses work.”
Nkosi says her brother Sizwe, who suffers from autism, was taken back to Esidimeni’s Waverley facility earlier this year and his health has since improved significantly.
He was admitted to Esidimeni’s Waverley facility in 1997 when he was 11 years old.
Nkosi says Sizwe was moved to the Cullinan Care and Rehab Centre in Pretoria last year - where his health drastically deteriorated.
She says she and her family want government to pay for all the unnecessary stress they were put through.
“I had to choose between my life and the life of my brother, I had to make sacrifices on whether I go to work or I go to meetings. Life literally stopped because my mother was devastated, she was not functioning properly and I wasn’t really earning money at that point so we all had to depend on her paycheck. Life changed.”
More family members of those who were fortunate enough to survive the Esidimeni tragedy are expected to testify in the hearings.
#LifeEsidimeni Nkosi says her brother was taken to CCRC in Pretoria. Says they went to visit him 10 days after he went there and he was looking frail, sunburnt and had an unpleasant smell. “He looked as though he hadn’t taken a bath since he arrived there”. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) December 1, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni Nkosi says when they kept complaining to the GP Health Department as concerned family members, they were told to take their loved ones home and look after them themselves, if they didn’t like the NGOs they were being transferred to. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) December 1, 2017
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)