8 Esidimeni patients still missing

Eight patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni in 2016 are still missing despite the efforts of the Gauteng Health Department to find them.

This was revealed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Only one patient has been found since August last year and is currently at the Waverley Care Centre.

Masuku said that tracing information had been obtained from Home Affairs and SASSA, and home visits had also been done. Difficulties include a lack of information on patients as Life Esidimeni could only provide files on 4 of the 8 missing patients – dates of birth for some patients were missing, and contact numbers for family were incorrect.

I fear that the fate of the remaining 8 patients may never be known as it is now nearly four years since they were sent from Life Esidimeni to illegal NGOs which may have covered up some deaths.

There have been 144 confirmed deaths, but we may never know the true Esidimeni death toll if the fate of the missing patients remains a mystery.