Some Life Esidimeni claimants have not received payment, state says it paid all
Two years since former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered that families of the 144 mental health patients who died after being removed from Life Esidimeni facilities be compensated, some are still yet to be paid.
The deputy chief justice ordered that over R1 million compensation needed to be paid to each family.
However, the legal representatives of some of the families say some money is still owed to some of their clients, and are now threatening court action against the provincial government.
Bongani Bingwa chats to Ulrich Roux and Associates criminal attorney Ulrich Roux and Gauteng Provincial Government spokesperson Thabo Masebe to give more insight on the matter.
We represent 101 families of patients who have suffered during the disaster and the claim they are instituting against the government totals approximately R65 million. The arbitration award was made not only in favour of the patients that passed away, but also on behalf of all patients who suffered sever trauma as a result of the senseless ending of the service level agreement by the government.Ulrich Roux, Criminal attorney - Ulrich Roux and Associates
Moseneke was very clear that anyone who has suffered as a result can come forward and are entitled to claim the compensation as ordered by him, he says.
According to the order, each affected family was entitled to claim R1.8 million and the government was supposed to make these payments within three months of the award being handed down. We sent a letter of demand to government and we have not heard anything.Ulrich Roux, Criminal attorney - Ulrich Roux and Associates
If the government didn't agree with the award and the terms of the award, it should have taken it on appeal, Roux adds.
Masebe says the Gauteng government complied with the Justice Moseneka's award.
He ordered us to make payments to people who were all listed in the annexes that he provided when he gave his award. He gave us three months to make the payments. We paid all of the people that he ordered us to pay within the stipulated time.Thabo Masebe, Spokesperson - Gauteng Health Department
Masebe is adament that the government fully complied with the Justice's order in the three months that it was stipulated.
The problem came when the other people who were not part of the arbitration process came forward to make their claims. We accepted their claims as the government and chose that we would use the same terms as in the award given by the Justice.Thabo Masebe, Spokesperson - Gauteng Health Department
He says the government was confronted with the issue of how it would ensure that the potion meant for the surviving mental care users would be safe guarded.
Everyone agreed that we need to safe guard the interest of the surviving mental health care users. Moseneke gave us three lists with 134 claimants and all those people were paid.Thabo Masebe, Spokesperson - Gauteng Health Department
Listen below to the full conversation:
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