Tears and Heartbreak at Life Esidimeni Hearings in South Africa – “I’m So Sorry”

Some families of the victims of the Life Esidimeni tragedy in South Africa were overcome by emotions and had to receive emergency medical care today. Others experienced breathing problems, according to the SABC.

The entire hearings have been emotional, but today they were heightened as suspended head of Gauteng Health Barney Selebano apologised to the families and relatives of those patients who died as a result of cost-cutting carelessness. The patients – or victims – were transferred from the Life Healthcare Esidimeni Centre in Gauteng to unregistered facilities… where they were left without trained doctors or nurses. A report found that most died from starvation, dehydration and diarrhoea.

Selebano had wanted the High Court in Joburg to interdict a subpoena ordering him to take the stand, but his application was dismissed with costs on Monday and he was forced to testify at the hearings. Speaking today he said he was so sorry and wished God could reverse the procedures that were taken. He asked the relatives to open their homes, if not their hearts, to him so that they could talk… even at the gate.

South African opera singer, Njabulo Thabiso Madlala, posted the following video and said: “The Life Esidimeni arbitration broke all our hearts today. 143 people died of negligence by the directors of the Health department, including it’s Minister moving them out of hospitals in a bid to save government money. Ignoring families, ignoring experts and lots of indications that this would happen.


“After days of intense cross examination of one of the said directors, he made an apology. The cries of those women and men in that room who lost their children and families, including tears of the Judge haunts our nation.

“Our ignorant negligent reckless nation. Even now they are trying to get behind and support a nightmare. Gutted for those who lost their loved ones.”

Watch tears and heartbreak during Esidimeni apology

The Life Esidimeni arbitration broke all our hearts today. 143 people died of negligence by the directors of the Health department including it's Minister moving them out of hospitals in a bid to save government money. Ignoring families, ignoring experts and lots of indications that this would happen. After days of intense cross examination of one of the said directors, he made an apology. The cries of those women and men in that room who lost their children and families, including tears of the Judge haunts our nation. Our ignorant negligent reckless nation. Even now they are trying to get behind and support a nightmare. Gutted for those who lost their loved ones.

Posted by Njabulo Thabiso Madlala on Friday, December 8, 2017