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Makhura's office dismisses claims that some Life Esidimeni claimants not paid

Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said that that the only payments still outstanding were for some survivors who were not part of the initial arbitration process.

FILE: Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke delivers the Life Esidimeni report on 18 March 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura's office has dismissed claims that over 80 Life Esidimeni claimants who qualify to receive compensation still haven't been paid.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is asking questions, claiming that a long list of family members of the victims are still waiting for what's due to them.

More than 144 psychiatric patients died due to negligence and unethical health practices after they were illegally transferred from Life Esidmineni healthcare facilities to ill-equipped NGOs in 2015.

More than two years ago, retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered that more than a million rand be paid out to the families of the victims who died after they were illegally transferred from the Life Esidimeni facility.

The DA's Jack Bloom said that out of the R120 million budgeted for compensation of claimants, only R6.5 million was spent, with the outstanding payments affecting at least 81 families.

"The Gauteng provincial government has had too many excuses for the late payments. They need to expedite all the payments to the 81 families that still don't; have it."

However, Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe said that that the only payments still outstanding were for some survivors who were not part of the initial arbitration process.

"All claimants of Life Esidimeni were paid in full. The other people, who were not part of the arbitration process, we've started administering the claims, they will only receive 50% of the claims. The other 50% will be held in trust on behalf of the mental health patients."

It's understood that the affected families of the tragedy will approach the courts next week to ensure that their own lawyers administer the trust.

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