JUDGE SAYS 200,00-RAND PAYOUT TO FAMILIES OF DECEASED LIFE ESIDIMENI VICTIMS NOT FINAL

JOHANNESBURG– Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has emphasised that the agreement reached between the State and the families of the deceased 144 mentally-ill patients who died after being removed from Life Esidimeni facilities is not the final settlement.

Justice Moseneke, who is chairing the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Johannesburg, was commenting on social media reports which depicted as conclusive the 200,000 Rand (about 16,460 US dollars) payment which the State had agreed to make to the families for funeral expenses and emotional shock as agreed upon by the State and lawyers representing the families.

Legal argument will continue on financial compensation for the families of the victims, as well as survivors of the Esidimeni tragedy and Justice Moseneke said the final figures had yet to be determined.

No amount has been awarded at all. It is just so misleading to all those quick readers who look at headlines,” he said.

“Only the arbitrator can award an amount. All that happened this morning (Thursday) was the State indicating what amounts are they prepared to admit, not the amount that the arbitrator would lay down.

“So, to journalists, please just go carefully. These are deliberations and the final amount will come out at the end of the award.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK