SA patients’ families to get compensation

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SA patients’ families to get compensation

Protesters outside the hearing in January

AFP

People protest after more than 140 people died in a “reckless” attempt to save money

Families of mentally ill patients who died after a “reckless” attempt by South Africa’s government to save money will receive 200,000 rand ($16,500; £11,900) in compensation for emotional trauma and to help cover funeral costs.

More than 140 patients died between March and December 2016 after being transferred from the specialised Life Esidimeni centres to unlicensed, cheaper care homes.

The state has now reached a deal with Section27, an NGO representing many of the families at the tribunal hearings.

Last year, the health ombudsman Professor Malekgapuru Makgoba revealed they died of starvation, dehydration and diarrhoea.

He described the move was a “reckless” attempt by the government to save money.

The provincial health minister Qedani Mahlangu resigned from her job following the biggest health scandal to hit South Africa since the end of apartheid.

The settlement also said victims’ families will receive counselling

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