JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has confirmed in a written reply to a question in the Gauteng legislature that none of the 45 inquests into the deaths of former Life Esidimeni patients who died in illegal NGOs have yet to be finalised, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
"She says that 'dockets and enquiry ﬁles are still at the ofﬁce of the director of public prosecutions (DPP) for perusal and decision. The investigation team is attending to some of the queries received from the DPP’s office',” DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said.
Furthermore, “the following reports are still outstanding: Clinical reports, blood alcohol reports, toxicology reports, and statements as per DPP's queries”.
"I am concerned by the slow pace of this investigation more than 18 months after the 144 Esidimeni deaths. Only five detectives are working on the case, and the police say that no finalisation date can be given at this stage. The police have also not laid any charges in this matter," Bloom said.
The Esidimeni tragedy involved "a wide range of crimes, including murder, culpable homicide, corruption, contraventions of the Mental Health Act, fraud, theft, and illegal licenses to NGOs", and accountability and punishment in court for all those implicated in the monstrous acts that lead to the deaths of so many helpless people was being delayed, Bloom said.
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African News Agency (ANA)