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Motsoaledi appoints tribunal to deal with Gauteng Health death appeals

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JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has appointed an independent tribunal to deal with appeals relating to the health ombudsman’s report into the deaths of mentally ill patients transferred from Life Esidimeni facilities in Gauteng.

The report was released in January.

It also emerged that the death toll has reached the 100 mark.

The Gauteng Health Department’s HOD Dr Barney Selebano has decided to appeal the findings against him.

Selebano is currently on suspension after he, former provincial health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and other officials were found to have acted recklessly and negligently in their decision to move the patients.

Health ministry spokesman Joe Maila said: “Mr Motsoaledi has appointed a tribunal to deal with the appeals that come out of the Life Esidimeni report by the health ombudsman.”

The health minister has appointed retired high court judge president Bernard Ngoepe as chairperson of the independent tribunal.

Maila says UCT psychiatry professor Brian Robertson will also form part of the tribunal.

“The law says in the event that there are people who are aggrieved and want to appeal, the minister must then appoint a tribunal. In this instance the three-person tribunal was appointed and will be headed by [retired] judge president Bernard Ngoepe.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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