The Life Esidimeni Inquest has been adjourned until the 17th of January next year. This is after cross-examination of the seventh witness, Hendricka Jacobus. She has told the inquest that some of the facilities where mentally challenged patients were to be moved to, were still under renovation.
Jacobus testified that old dilapidated buildings were among those earmarked to accommodate the psychiatric patients. The inquest is investigating the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients.
Many of them died of malnutrition and neglect after the Life Esidimeni project was shut down by the Gauteng Health Department in June 2016.
“The proposed building at Kalafong was an unused nurses’ home. I also included the CEO of the hospital to engage their personnel to assist. On my third visit, I was accompanied by the hospital’s facilities manager who made me aware of several structural damages and proposed renovation. I proposed that the engineers go back and do a proper structural assessment. And they had to work under severe pressure,” says Jacobus.
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