DA's Bloom claims 8 more missing former Esidimeni patients found

MEC Gwen Ramokgopa confirmed during the Esidimeni arbitration hearings that four patients had been found with authorities being told that eight more had been located.

FILE: The Life Esidimeni Waverley Care Centre Hospital in Boksburg. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom says he has been informed by the police that eight more former Life Esidimeni patients have been found after they went missing.

Bloom opened a missing persons case earlier this month at the Hillbrow police station claiming that 62 patients were unaccounted for.

But both the national and Gauteng Health Departments along with the Health Ombudsman have put the number at 59.

Provincial Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa confirmed during the Esidimeni arbitration hearings that four patients had been found, with authorities being told that eight more had been located.

Bloom says it is difficult to trace the remaining missing patients.

“I opened 62 missing persons case with the police and they have been giving me regular update. The latest update is that they have found eight more, in addition to the five that I was informed about last week.”

At least 144 people died when the department terminated its contract with Esidimeni and moved them to ill-equipped NGOs.