Professor Malegapuru Makgoba File picture: Jacques Naudé/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The death toll of psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni to 27 NGOs in Gauteng with "invalid licences" has now risen to "well above 100", Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba told MPs on Wednesday.
Makgoba told MPs on Wednesday that he was getting more numbers of people dying at the NGOs. He said 94 was not the final number of mental patients who died at Life Esidimeni.
“From the data that is coming we are above 100, I am counting. From the figure that is coming we are above 100, we are still correlating. I can confirm that we are above 100,” said Makgoba.
Makgoba, who is briefing the portfolio committee on health, told MPs and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that there needed to be a cut-off point on the matter.
However, this needed to discussed and a decision taken.
Makgoba said this was an issue that led to outrage in the country, and they needed to be careful when they were investigating last year.
The health ombudsman said there were negligent actions.
He also told the committee that he interviewed a number of people, and what came out was that the transfer of patients was done in a rush.
The NGOs did not have capacity and professional staff to handle the patients.
"When the patients were fitting they did not know what was happening. This whole project was shambolic and chaotic," he said.
Political Bureau and ANA