DA said 365 claimants of the Life Esidimeni tragedy are still to receive compensation as determined by Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s Arbitration ruling. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said 365 claimants of the Life Esidimeni tragedy are still to receive compensation as determined by Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s Arbitration ruling.

"This was revealed today by Premier David Makhura in an oral reply to my questions today in the Gauteng Legislature. Makhura said that R164 million had been paid to 134 claimants who were part of the arbitration process, and also to an additional four new claimants," the DA Gauteng spokesperson on Health Jack Bloom said.

According to Bloom, Makhura said a verification process involving the Master of the High Court has to be done for the remaining 365 claimants as there are disputes as pertaining to the rightful person for each claim.

"He did not expect the payments to take that long in terms of the agreed process," Bloom said

"I am concerned that the payments have been unduly delayed by inefficiency in the Premier’s Office. Furthermore, it would cost about R431 million to pay the 365 claimants, but only R118 million was provided for in the Adjustment Budget in November last year. Where will the missing R313 million to pay all the claimants come from?"

Bloom said he thinks it is unlikely that all the victims will be paid by the time Makhura ends his term of office, which is on 8 May 2019 and that this is a sad comment given by Makhura on a tragedy that will always "blight" his premiership.

"It is shameful that he has not given a higher priority to expediting full financial redress for the suffering of the Esidimeni victims," said Bloom.

African News Agency (ANA)