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Formal inquest into Life Esidimeni deaths launched.

The legal representative of Life Esidimeni patients has called on the Pretoria High Court to move quickly with the inquest into the deaths of 144 patients.

The patients died after being transferred to various NGOs when the Health Department cancelled its contract with the Life Esidemeni group in 2015.

The inquest into the deaths of former Life Esidimeni mental patients has heard there is no reason to depart from the findings of the arbitration by former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, into their deaths.

The arbitration found among others, that the deaths were unnatural.

NGO, Section 27 which is representing the families of the deceased at an inquest in the High Court in Pretoria says former Gauteng health senior officials should be held responsible for the tragic deaths.

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has been accused of negligence during the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Mahlangu has maintained her innocense in the circumstances that led to the deaths of the patients.

The inquest in the deaths of the mental health patients began on Monday.

Reports indicated that the victims died from malnutrition and neglect.

Section 27’s advocate, Adila Hassim said the officials of the Gauteng department acted unlawfully and negligently, their conduct led to the deaths.

“The evidence will show that notwithstanding the fact that the deceased presented with different mental conditions required different medication or type of care, what shared was caused by sheer negligence, torture, and abuse they experienced,” said Hassim.

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