Life Esidimeni inquest: Sadag says that their offer to support patients ignored

The inquest heard from its first witness, Cassandra Chambers, from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) gave details on the marathon process arranged by the Gauteng Health Department that led to the deaths of mentally ill patients.

FILE: Patients at the Takalani Home for the mentally disabled in Soweto. It was one of the institutions affected during the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria is expected to hear more heartbreaking details of how patients died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The formal inquest into the deaths of at least 144 psychiatric patients began on Monday, presided over by Judge Mmonoa Teffo.

The inquest heard from its first witness, Cassandra Chambers, from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) gave details on the marathon process arranged by the Gauteng Health Department that led to the deaths of mentally ill patients.

READ MORE: Families of Life Esidimeni victims: We want justice for our loved ones

“We offered our expertise, we offered our support, we offered consultation and these were ignored,” she said.

Chambers said that the patients should have never been moved in the first place.

“These were not normal procedures; these patients should have never have died under these circumstances just from being moved from one facility to the next. These facilities were not adequate enough to look after these types of patients,” Chambers said.

Chambers has wrapped up her testimony and the inquest is set to call its second witness when it resumes on Tuesday.

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