Rights activist to lay complaint against Zille over Esidimeni tweet
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille tweeted that while it was good that the families will be compensated for the deaths of their loved ones, she wanted to know what they had done to raise the alarm.
CAPE TOWN - Civil society group Unite Behind’s Zackie Achmat has confirmed that he’ll be laying a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against Western Cape Premier Helen Zille over her tweet about the families of the victims of the Esidimeni tragedy.
Zille tweeted on Tuesday that while it was good that the families will now be compensated by the Gauteng government for the deaths of their loved ones, she wanted to know what they had done to raise the alarm about their suffering before they died.
One hundred and forty-four patients died after the department moved them from life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped and illegal NGOs.
Speaking on Radio 702 on Wednesday morning, Achmat described Zille's comments as horrible and said he wants her to be exposed to the poor state of mental health facilities in the Western Cape.
“I would like to officially launch a complaint online on that comment and ask the premier to accompany the Human Rights Commission and others to Valkenberg Hospital, Stikland Hospital and Lentegeur Hospital.”
It is good that the families of the Life Esidimeni victims have received a measure of justice and compensation. I would like an answer to this question: What did they do, before these tragic deaths, to raise the alarm about their loved ones starving + living in profound neglect?— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 20, 2018
With all this "outrage" at a simple question, one could easily forget that patients with mental illnesses are NOT treated in this inhumane way in the Western Cape. Here we have a competent and caring government and residents who would not tolerate what happened in Esidimeni. https://t.co/NLxunhxefU— Helen Zille (@helenzille) March 20, 2018