[MUST LISTEN] NPA launches inquest into Life Esidimeni

[MUST LISTEN] NPA launches inquest into Life Esidimeni

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) believes the evidence gathered at the arbitration hearings into the Life Esidimeni tragedy falls short of criminal prosecution.

Moseneke Life Esidimeni

“What we have so far, we cannot directly link certain individuals to the deaths,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane on Tuesday.

An inquest has been launched to determine whether any government official can be held criminally liable for the deaths of more than 144 psychiatric patients.

October will mark two years since arbitration proceedings begun - probing the circumstances which led to their deaths when they were moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria, Advocate George Baloyi, believes the harrowing evidence given by family members falls short of criminal prosecution.

“If we want to proceed with prosecution, if there is a death of a person and you want to charge someone for murder, then we need to prove all the elements of murder,” said Mjonondwane.

“For example, was it intentional? Was it due to reckless conduct of a particular person?”

Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered government to pay compensation of R1.2 million to the affected families.

“With a criminal case the test is different. The state has the onus to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt,” Mjonondwane said.

Show's Stories