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DA considers legal options to force Mahlangu to cough up Esidimeni damages

Earlier this year former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke led an arbitration hearing that recommended that R159 million be paid out to the families of the victims.

FILE: Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu gives testimony at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing in Johannesburg on 22 January 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng says its considering legal options to force former MEC of Health Qedani Mahlangu and others implicated in the Life Esidimeni tragedy to pay for compensation costs directly from their own pockets.

Earlier this year former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke led an arbitration hearing that recommended that R159 million be paid out to the families of the victims who died after at least 143 mentally-ill patients were transported to ill-equipped NGOs.

The DA's Jack Bloom says he's written a letter to Gauteng Premier David Makhura asking that he initiate an Apportionment of Damages Act which will ensure that officials found guilty of wrongdoing are personally liable for payments due to the families of victims in the tragedy.

Bloom says he gave the premier 60 days to reply but Makhura has not met this deadline.

“The DA is looking ta legal options to force the provincial government to make sure that Mahlangu and responsible officials pay from their own pockets for the considerable damages that were awarded to the life Esidimeni victims’ families.”

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