Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says societies function best when there are proper institutions to ensure that governments upheld people’s rights.
Moseneke headed the arbitration inquiry into the Life Esidimeni tragedy after 144 mentally-ill patients died between 2015 and 2017 following their transfer from Life Esidimeni health facilities to largely ill-equipped institutions managed by non-governmental organisations.
After the hearings were concluded, Moseneke released a report in which he recommended that each claimant be compensated in excess of R 1 Million.
He says although he headed the inquiry, he did not have the authority to act in a criminal justice sense.
“I carefully listed what I thought was a crime that emerged from the conduct that had been presented before me. So, the report is there, it’s available and the police are fully aware of that and I think the NPA has all that. So yes, you know, every time societies function best when there are proper watchdogs.”
In his report, Moseneke also slammed the government, particularly former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, the department’s former head Dr Barney Selebano and former director Dr Makgabo Manamela for the manner in which they handled the project.
Moseneke also found that the decision to move the patients was irrational and unconstitutional.
The National Prosecuting Authority concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges in 144 deaths of the patients that it had investigated.