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Gauteng DA still seeking criminal prosecution in Life Esidimeni matter

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng said that while it was pleased that someone was shouldering the blame for the Life Esidimeni tragedy, it would not rest until those accountable were prosecuted.

Anchor House founder Dorothy Franks gives evidence at the Life Esidimeni hearing in Johannesburg on 30 October 2017. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng said that while it was pleased that someone was shouldering the blame for the Life Esidimeni tragedy, it would not rest until those accountable were prosecuted.

The party was responding to an order by the Johannesburg High Court for two of the NGOs, the Anchor Center for the Intellectually Disabled and Dorothy Evangeline Franks, to pay back more than R630,000 to the Health Department.

The centers were not properly vetted before mental health patients were sent there.

In total, 144 patients died as a result of the Gauteng Health Department's decision to remove them from proper medical care.

The Special Investigation Unit said that it was preparing to take action against nine more NGO’s implicated in wrongdoing in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

DA shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom: "We got civil action to recover some of the money but we still haven't seen criminal charges against those whose negligence was responsible for the deaths of 144 mental health patients."

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