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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Greg Nicolson. Photo collage by Section 27.]

The Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings have exceeded expectations, allowing relatives to express their pain and accused individuals a chance to be cross-examined. The process, however, is incomplete as we wait for the architects of the disaster to testify. 

At least five patients died at Dorothy Franks’ Anchor NGO after they were moved from Life Esidimeni. The most revealing aspect of her testimony on Monday wasn’t that her NGO was only licensed to take children but took 72 critically ill adults, or that there were only six toilets, without seats, at Anchor.

The biggest revelation wasn’t even that the Gauteng Department of Health continued to pay her for months after Anchor was closed. Or that Franks continued to withdraw patients’ Sassa grant payments after they left her care, or died. The most important thing Franks said was that suspended Gauteng government mental health boss Makgabo Manamela helped her establish her NGO to take patients from Life Esidimeni, despite her total lack of experience in caring for such patients.

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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