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Gauteng Health Department locates another missing Life Esidimeni patient

Georgy van der Merwe is full of smiles as journalists take photos of him next to his family members at his home in Lenasia.

Georgy van der Merwe (L) poses with his family outside their home in Lenesia on 3 March 2019. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Another patient who survived the Life Esidimeni tragedy has been located by the Gauteng Health department bringing the number of unaccounted patients now to 16.

Last week, the department successfully traced five mentally ill patients to where they are staying now after they were removed from the Esidimeni hospital in 2016.

More than 140 patients died when almost 2,000 people were moved to ill-equipped and unlicensed NGOs around Gauteng.

Georgy van der Merwe is full of smiles as journalists take photos of him next to his family members at his home in Lenasia.

In 2016, he was discharged from the Life Esidimeni hospital to go home and stay with his family.

But more than two years later, the department could not find him and placed him on a list of unaccounted patients who left the hospital in 2016.

MEC Gwen Ramokgopa said with the help of other departments including Home Affairs he’s name has now finally been ticked off their list of missing people.

“We’ve assured them that we’re not coming to fetch their loved one but to reconnect with them and reassuring them that we will be working with them to look after him.”

Ramokgopa will also visit the other four patients and their families who they have successfully located over the past week.

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