The relatives of Life Esidimeni victims want the whole truth

Families of the 141 victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy continue to share their heartbreaking stories that the arbitration hearing in Johannesburg. The hearing is now in its third week.

EWN Reporter Katleho Sekhotho says Monday's proceeding included testimony from Christine Nxumalo, whose sister was on of the patients who died, and Nxumalo says she found her sister's body at a storage house in the North West.

#LifeEsidimeni: Families share harrowing details

She struggled to find her sister's body. She went from pillar to pillar trying to find out details of where her sister was.

Katleho Sekhotho , EWN Reporter

In addition to losing her sister, Nxumalo says her sister's daughter passed away on the first day the arbitration started, adding to the grief of the family, according to Sekhotho.

Sekhotho says that the gallery was filled with family members who could be heard murmuring and agreeing with Nxumalo's testimony, indicating that they went through similar struggles.

You could feel from the audience that they agree, because they are so little answers and so many questions.

Katleho Sekhotho , EWN Reporter

Read: Mentally ill patients removed from NGO to make room for Life Esidimeni patients

Jack Bloom, DA Shadow MEC on Health in Gauteng, says he believes that former Gauteng Heath MEC, Qedani Mahlangu must come back to the country and answer for the tragedy. According to reports, she is currently studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

She was obviously the prime person responsible. There is so many gaps in what we know about how this happened. This official are saying they were bullied by her.

Jack Bloom, DA Shadow MEC on Health in Gauteng

The big question for Bloom, is why the Life Esidimeni moves were pushed through.

There didn't seem to be a huge financial saving out of it. What possessed the former MEC to push through with this despite all the warnings?

Jack Bloom, DA Shadow MEC on Health in Gauteng

Bloom says that since they know the whereabouts of the Mahlangu, they can subpoena her to come and testify. He adds that this is especially important for the victim's families to get some closure.

The relatives want to know the full truth, they want closure, they want to know why this happened. And honestly, the former MEC must be there and apologise, be contrite and end the end of the day face charges in front of a court of law.

Jack Bloom, DA Shadow MEC on Health in Gauteng

Listen to the full report below:


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