In episode 2 we catch up with the processes around the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Christine Nxumalo discusses what further action the families are hoping for. Tendai Mafuma provides fascinating insights into the prospects for criminal liability. Mark Heywood gives his views on the politics surrounding the case and what that means for accountability.
The Life Esidimeni tragedy claimed the lives of at least 143 people in need of mental health services in South Africa’s Gauteng province. The tragedy is set to be analysed and studied for years to come and to become a point of reference for catastrophic medical mismanagement, much like the infamous Tuskegee scandal in the United States. The dust has now started to settle with the arbitration hearings chaired by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke having delivered its report and compensation having been paid to the families of some of the deceased. And yet, questions remain as to whether anyone has truly been held accountable – particularly since the heavily implicated former Gauteng MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu was recently elected to the African National Congress’s Gauteng leadership. In this in-depth episode of the Spotlight podcast your host Nomatter Ndebele speaks to three people closely involved with the case. First, Nomatter chats to Christine Nxumalo of the Life Esidimeni Family Committee about where the legal and accountability process stands now and what further action the families are hoping for. Then Tendai Mafuma, a member of SECTION27’s legal team on the case, provides fascinating legal insights into the process so far and the prospects for individuals being held criminally liable in future. Finally, SECTION27 Executive Director Mark Heywood gives his views on the politics surrounding the case and what that means for accountability
in South Africa.