Moseneke to lead Life Esidimeni tragedy mediation

2017-07-21 11:38
Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. (Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

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Gauteng - Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has been appointed to lead mediation between the government and the loved ones of the Life Esidimeni victims, the Gauteng provincial government has confirmed.

An agreement was reached between Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and the victims and families of the affected patients, to have Moseneke lead the Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

"The report of the Health Ombud[sman] recommends that 'the national minister must facilitate a process jointly with the premier of the province to contact all affected individuals and families and enter into an Alternative Dispute Resolution process'.

"Justice Moseneke has agreed to lead the alternative dispute resolution process and will at the earliest convenience convene a meeting with all the parties to outline the mediation process," the provincial government said in a statement.

"The office of the premier will provide any support that the mediator may require to facilitate the dispute resolution process."

READ: Gauteng health dept breached Life Esidimeni agreement - minister

More than 100 patients died in 2016 after being moved from Life Esidimeni to NGOs to save money.

On February 1, Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba revealed that at least 94 patients had died after being moved to 27 non-government organisations across the province in 2016.

They died of thirst, hunger and cold. The department cancelled Esidimeni's contract as part of its cost-cutting measures.

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu stepped down in the wake of the scandal.

In February, Makgoba told Parliament's portfolio committee on health that the death toll would continue to rise, after more than 100 patients were reported to have died.

Human rights organisation SECTION27 on Friday said it would soon be meeting with Moseneke and other parties to discuss how the resolution process would unfold.

Attorney Sasha Stevenson said they approved of Moseneke's appointment and looked forward to the commencement of the process.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) also welcomed the appointment, saying this approach would avoid drawn-out legal proceedings.

"A fair settlement for the relatives should include financial compensation, while bearing in mind that no amount of money can recompense for the loss of a loved one," said DA's provincial health spokesperson and MPL Jack Bloom.

He said Moseneke had the integrity and competence to ensure the appropriate compensation and closure for the affected families.

Read more on:    dikgang moseneke  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  healthcare

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