Makhura vows Life Esidimeni families will get compensation before deadline

Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)
Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura promised that families of those who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy will receive their settlements before the June 19 deadline.

Makhura said he will make an announcement detailing the information later this week.

In March, retired deputy chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke gave the government three months to compensate the families in excess of R1m for each claimant.

Makhura said the government met with the committee representing the families last Friday to finalise everything.

"The settlement will indeed be paid in line with the deadline," he said, adding "in fact ahead of the deadline".

Moseneke ruled in favour of the families at the conclusion of a marathon arbitration hearing. He found that the provincial health department's decision to move psychiatric patients was "irrational and unconstitutional".

A total of 144 psychiatric patients died after being moved from Life Esidimeni to various unlicensed NGO's. Many of the families had not been informed about the intention to move their loved ones while other family members found their loved ones in mortuaries.

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