David Makhura to appoint curator for Esidimeni victims’ families

The Gauteng premier announced that he will be appointing an independent curator to look after the interests of affected families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi during a healing session for the families of the Life Esidimeni victims in Pretoria. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura says a mental health curator is essential in implementing the recommendations made by the health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba.

Makhura announced that he will be appointing an independent curator to look after the interests of affected families of the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

At least 144 patients died after the government moved them to illegal NGOs.

He was speaking at a healing session for the families of the victims in Freedom Park in Pretoria.

Makhura says the curator will also monitor the implementation of outcomes from the arbitration hearings chaired by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

In a pledge, he read with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, to the victims’ families Makhura promised that the negligence which led to the deaths of the 144 mental health care patients will never happen again.

“We pledge to take proactive steps to ensure that no in our name and not under our watch will mental health patients again be overlooked or taken for granted.”

Motsoaledi says the families need answers and hopes that the judicial processes will deliver closure for them.

PAIN, TEARS AND SORROW

The National Health Department, together with the Gauteng government, has pledged to never overlook the care of mental health patients.

Gauteng Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza and her health counterpart Gwen Ramokgopa were also among those accompanying Minister Motsoaledi in the pledge.

During the arbitration hearings, families learned how some of their loved ones were chosen like cattle and transported in open trucks to illegal NGOs.

When prayers began, to officially open a session in Freedom Park, it was pain, tears and sorrow on the faces of family members.

Makhura assured them of government support.

“I’m going to appoint a curator who’s going to look after the interest of the families.”

Moseneke is expected to release his findings and recommendations in March.