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Life Esidimeni death toll rises to 143

Johannesburg - The number of former Life Esidimeni patients who died during and after the Gauteng mental marathon project has risen to 143.

Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba was asked to review the number of patients who passed away after discrepancies emerged during the arbitration hearings.

Earlier during the hearings, the figure was updated to 141 patients who had died and another 59 who were still unaccounted for.

Makgoba’s initial number was 118 patients, but taking into account the number of patients who had died until the end of September 2017, that number had increased to 143.

According to Makgoba’s figures, 29 patients had died at the Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre, Anchor and Siyabadinga, which all share the same premises.

Thirty eight patients had died at Mosego and Takalani in Soweto, 20 died at Precious Angels and another 13 at Tshepong.

These four facilities accounted for nearly 80% of the patients who passed away during the transfer of Life Esidimeni patients, according to Makgoba.

“Those were the high density places where people died,” he said. DM

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