Mother took ‘missing’ mental patient
QUESTIONS still surround the marathon Life Esidimeni relocation project months after reparations were granted to the affected families. In tallying up the numbers relocated, some patients seem to have fallen through the cracks.
Acting mental health director in Gauteng Dr Kobie Marais said one patient who was moved to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Orange Farm, south of Joburg, was unaccounted for in the total tally of 1 730.
The patient’s mother said she might not be on the list because she removed her from the NGO unlawfully. Thandi Letswana from Vosloorus, east of Joburg, said her daughter, Princess Mlotshwa, was moved from Esidimeni in Randfontein to an ill-equipped NGO in Orange Farm. Letswana said she was shocked when Esidimeni informed her.
“I was not attending the (relocation) meetings at Esidimeni as I did not have the money for transport. Sometime in 2016 I got a call from a lady telling me my daughter had been moved to an NGO in Orange Farm.
“When I arrived there I found an RDP house being renovated and the name of the NGO was not on the gate. The patients were sitting outside without warm clothes on.
“When I asked the owner, Thulani, why they were outside without warm clothes, he could not answer me. He just said all their clothes, identity documents and Sassa cards were missing,” said Letswana.
The bad state her daughter was in drove her to tears. “I did not sleep all night as I was crying. So I decided to go back and take my daughter.
“When I arrived I told them I would like her to visit us. That was the last time they saw her.”
Marais said Princess was not one of the 21 missing patients or of the 1 730 relocated patients.
“I could not find her on the list, but I will check all reports around her discharge. I can confirm she was discharged from Randfontein..”
Marais previously said 62 of the 100 patients who went missing were found with their families.