Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has called for a commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances which led to the deaths of the patients who were transferred from the Life Esidimeni clinic to 27 non-governmental organisations that operated without a licence.
“I have therefore written to President Jacob Zuma, requesting that he establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry in terms of section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution, to rigorously investigate what exactly transpired, how it was allowed to transpire, what national government’s role was – and ought to have been – and to identify the shortcoming of the current system so as to avoid a catastrophe like this from occurring again,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference in Parliament, Maimane said that the party sought justice for the more than 100 psychiatric patients “who died a tragic and avoidable death at the hands of an uncaring, dysfunctional and unresponsive ANC government in Gauteng”.
Maimane also said that the health ombudsman’s report did not go deep enough and that another investigation was required.
When City Press contacted department of health spokesperson Joe Maila, he was not aware that the DA had called for a judicial inquiry.
“As far as we are aware, we called on the health ombudsman to conduct an investigation and they did their job. We are complying with their recommendations and are implementing these recommendations,” Maila said.