Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing chairman retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke. File photo: ANA

Johannesburg - The three-month deadline for Life Esidimeni families to receive their R1.2 million compensation from government is fast approaching and recipients still haven't received their money, Gauteng Premier David Makhura confirmed on Thursday.

“No payment has been made yet, the process is underway to verify bank details of all the beneficiaries and validate new applications. We will meet the timeframe set by the arbitrator, Justice [Dikgang] Moseneke,” Makhura said in the reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance in the Gauteng Legislature.

In March, the arbitration awarded to survivors and families of those who had died R1-million in constitutional damages and R200,000 in damages for emotional suffering and funeral expenses.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke who was chairing the arbitration gave until June 19 for the payments to be made in a lump sum.

Makhura said the process was underway and that officials were verifying the banking details of beneficiaries. He said the government would meet the deadline.

At least 144 mentally ill patients died after the Gauteng health department moved about 1700 patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to unsuitable non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and state facilities in 2016. Twenty-eight patients are still missing.

African News Agency/ANA