GP Health Dept ordered to pay over R1.2mn to Esidimeni families

Retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke announced his decision earlier on Monday, bringing a conclusion to the arbitration hearings into the deaths of 141 mentally ill people died.

Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has ordered that Gauteng government pay over R1.2 million in common law and constitutional damages to the families of psychiatric patients who died and those who survived after being moved from Life Esidimeni facilities.

Moseneke announced his decision earlier on Monday, bringing a conclusion to the arbitration hearings.

One hundred and forty-four mentally ill people died after the Gauteng Health Department moved them to ill-equipped NGOs in 2016.

LISTEN: Life Esidimeni judgment is groundbreaking - Health Ombud

Moseneke says the reasons given by former Gauteng Health Department senior officials - Qedani Mahlangu, Doctor Barney Selebano and Doctor Makgabo Manalema - were a fabrication of the facts behind the decision to terminate the contract with Life Esidimeni.

Moseneke agreed with the health ombudsman’s finding that the move was irrational and negligent.

He then announced his decision on compensation.

Moseneke said: "The government is ordered to pay R180,000 to each of the claimants listed in annexures A, B and C in respect of general damages for shock and psychological trauma. The government is ordered to pay R1 million to each of the claimants listed in annexures A, B and C as appropriate relief and compensation."

WATCH: Moseneke orders Gauteng government to pay for Life Esidimeni tragedy

This decision by Moseneke is binding and means the government is compelled to make these payments.