'Drugged up & beaten': Man reunited with family after Esidimeni tragedy

Georgy van der Merwe now stays with family in Lenasia after he was found safe by the Gauteng Health Department last week.

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

JOHANNESBURG - In the wake of more mentally ill patients being located in Gauteng by the provincial Health Department two years after the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the family of one patient has recalled his horrific experience at the hospital.

Georgy van der Merwe now stays with family in Lenasia after he was found safe by the department last week.

Sixteen other patients who were discharged from Life Esidimeni in 2016 when government’s contract with the hospital came to an end are still unaccounted for.

More than 140 people died that year.

Van der Merwe's family member Ansley Keyser described the state his uncle was in when he was discharged from Esidimeni.

“We are very glad that Georgy is back with us, because when he came from the institution he wasn’t eating well. Whenever we would go and visit him, he was injured or someone bit in on the fingers. When we asked the nurses, they couldn’t give us an explanation.”