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Esidimeni: State to pay R200,000 to victims' families

The State has announced it will pay R200,000 to the families of Esidimeni victims.

FILE: Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke presiding over the arbitration process into the Esidimeni tragedy. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The State in the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings has reached an agreement with lawyers representing the families of the psychiatric patients who died.

Each claimant will receive R200,000 for common law damages.

Lawyers are on Thursday making closing arguments at the hearings in Parktown.

One hundred and forty-four patients died from starvation and dehydration after the Gauteng Health Department moved them to ill-equipped NGOs in 2016.

Section 27’s Adila Hassim, who represents the families of 55 patients who died, started her presentation to retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke by announcing the agreement reached with the State.

"An agreement has been reached with Section 27 on behalf of their clients with an amount of R200,000 for each family."

Solidarity’s Dirk Groenewald then confirmed that his clients, the families of four people who died, will also be receiving this amount.

"Justice I can confirm after deliberating with my colleagues from the State, we have reached an agreement to settle on common law damages with the amount of R200,000."

No agreement has been reached with lawyers representing the families of the patients who survived the tragedy.

Lawyers will now argue how much their clients should be compensated for constitutional damages.

WATCH: Esidimeni: Final arguments presented for compensation

More details to follow.