Psychiatric Patient NGO Operating Illegally

Re Bafenyi Mental Health Institution

The Re Bafenyi Mental Health Institution, which is one of the NGOs looking after 47 psychiatric patients transferred earlier this year from Life Healthcare Esidimeni, is contravening a number of Tshwane municipal by-laws.

This is according to a report by the Tshwane Health and Social Development Department which investigated the NGO in Hennops River after complaints received by local DA Councillor Kingsley Wakelin that people living there were jumping the fences and disturbing the neighbourhood.

The social worker who visited Re Bafenyi on 2 November found mostly clean conditions for the 47 mental health patients who are all on anti-psychotic drugs and have a high level of functioning. The Centre was licensed on 1 April 2016 for 65 patients and is receiving R2700 subsidy per patient per month from the Gauteng Health Department.

Municipal By-laws

Re Bafenyi was found to have by-passed most of the Municipal by-laws as follows:

  • the plot is not zoned to accommodate Mental Health Patients (City Planning);
  • no signage reflecting the name of institution;
  • there is no Health certificate from the Municipal Environmental Health Practitioners;
  • the Emergency Department should also assess the centre and give their inputs on safety measures;
  • no waste management control, the waste is just exposed in an open space which is a health hazard for the patients and neighbours;
  • the plot has lots of stones which might also pose a risk to the patients themselves; and
  • the staff establishment requires the service of Occupational Therapist (Provincial role/ private) so as to stimulate the patients. They are just roaming around the yard.

The report recommends that ReBafenyi complies with the by-laws and that the “Provincial Health Department should only issue operating licence to institution which complies with the law of operating such institution because this involves human lives.”

Tshwane Council Report

I am concerned that this report shows yet another NGO set up in a rush to accommodate patients from Life Healthcare Esidimeni, and it is blatantly contravening municipal by-laws.

Christopher Mogwarane (56) was one of the patients transferred to Re Bafenyi from Esidimeni and died there, allegedly from natural causes. According to his brother Lucas, he was not happy at Re Bafenyi and he did not appear to be getting proper nutrition and medication.

I will be submitting the Tshwane Council report to the Health Ombudsman to consider as part of his investigation into the deaths of 37 psychiatric patients after the Gauteng Health Department cancelled the contact with Life Healthcare Esidimeni.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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Gauteng Fails To Register Special Needs Independent Schools

Amazing-K Independent School

The DA will submit written questions to Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, to ascertain exactly how many independent schools are not registered due to the department’s tardiness.

The Amazing-K Independent School in Northwold Ext 15, Johannesburg, has been operating since 2013 without being registered by the Gauteng Department of Education.

Following an oversight visit to the school today, Amazing-K has been trying to register as a school for the Autistic.

Three and a half years have passed and their plea to the department has fallen on deaf ears.

Amazing-K School has no Health Permit, Health Certificate and Occupancy Certificate.

Learners Access to Education

Further to this, Heron Academy in Mulbarton, which caters for learners with ADHD has also been battling to obtain formal registration.

The department should be fast tracking the process to register independent schools especially schools which cater for children with special needs.

Independent schools which relieves the pressure on the department should be assisted and swiftly to afford all learners access to education.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, should ensure that all schools operating are complying with department registration regulations.

MEC Lesufi has a responsibility towards learners with special needs in the province and should act swiftly to assist these schools.


Media enquiries:

Khume Ramulifho MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education

082 398 7375

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