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NGOs implicated in Esidimeni deaths to appear before SIU Tribunal

The NGOs were found to be ill-equipped to look after the psychiatric patients who died during transfers across the province in 2016.

FILE: Life Esidimeni Waverley Care Centre Hospital in Boksburg. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Thirteen nonprofit organisations implicated in the deaths of at least 144 Life Esidimeni patients are due to appear before the Special Investigating Unit’s Tribunal soon for alleged fraud.

Retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke recommended the Gauteng government investigate the organisations after the Esidimeni commission found they allegedly benefited over R5.5 million through fake invoices.

The NGOs were found to be ill-equipped to look after the psychiatric patients who died during transfers across the province in 2016.

The Special Investigating Unit has started with its crackdown on 28 NGOs facing several allegations of wrongdoing in connection with the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The SIU tribunal has completed its first phase of investigations into the 13 NGOs accused of illegally pocketing around R5.5 million.

Tribunal spokesperson Selby Mokgotho said: “The civil claims have been investigated and finalised to institute proceedings with the ultimate intention of the recovery of the money.”

Mokgotho explains what will happen after they appear before the tribunal.

“The tribunal will be able to grant orders where there is a need for suspension orders.”

There’s been no accountability or concrete action against those responsible for the deaths since the tragedy three years ago.

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