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Esidimeni tragedy: More families submit names seeking compensation

In March, retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered government to pay all families R1.2 million each for both common and constitutional law damages.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke delivers the Life Esidimeni report on 18 March 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – While government has paid 134 claimants of the Life Esidimeni tragedy, Eyewitness News understands more names of people seeking compensation have been submitted to government by the family committee and lawyers.

In March, retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered government to pay all families R1.2 million each for both common and constitutional law damages.

Moseneke announced that government had until 19 June to do this.

At least 144 patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with life Esidimeni.

The family committee established by relatives of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy says its submitted no less than 200 names to the Gauteng government of people wanting to claim.

The committee's Christine Nxumalo lost her sister in the tragedy and says she believes more will follow.

“And another list from the families was submitted... 200 names or something like that.”

Section 27 lawyer Sasha Stevenson agrees.

“What was made clear from the process is that the data collection of the department was appalling.”

Over 1,700 patients were affected by the Gauteng Health Department's decision.

When Moseneke announced his decision earlier this year, he also said government must be prepared to pay compensation to other families, if investigations prove that their loved ones died or were transferred during the period that was under investigation.

LISTEN: Lying in State: The Life Esidimeni Tragedy - The cost of cost-cutting

If you missed episode two listen to it below or click here to follow the series. You can also subscribe to the full six-part series on the Podcast app on your iOS device.