DA opens missing persons case for 62 Esidimeni patients
29 January 2018
Today I opened a missing persons case at the Johannesburg Central Police Station for the 62 former Life Esidimeni patients who have still not been located.
I submitted a list of the 62 patients that the Gauteng Health Department sent last week to some mental health NGOs to assist in finding them. The list can be found here.
The full names of 55 patients are given, but there are only 35 with ID numbers although dates of birth are given in all cases.
In three cases only a first name is known and in another case only the surname. There is no name at all for three of the missing patients.
There are 43 men missing and 19 women.
I have requested police involvement as far too little has been done to publicize and track down those who are missing more than 18 months since the Esidimeni tragedy unfolded.
There should surely be some photographs of the missing patients that would assist in finding them.
It is known that disability grants are being collected for some of them, so why have they not been tracked down or possible fraud detected in this matter?
I suspect that many of the missing patients could be dead as they would not be able to survive long without decent care.
This could push the total Esidimeni death toll to more than 200 patients.
Every effort should be made to return to treatment those who are still missing or find out how they died and who is responsible for their deaths.
The Esidimeni nightmare will not be over until every one of the patients is accounted for.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 29 January 2018