SIU move against former head of Gauteng Health over Life Esidimeni fraud

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The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has pounced on government officials and public representatives who defrauded the government of more than R10.6m under the guise of caring for psychiatric patients at Life Esidimeni. The Star reports the SIU has also lodged an urgent court application to freeze the pension for former Gauteng Health head of department Dr Barney Selebano for his alleged role in the Life Esidimeni saga which led to the deaths of more than 140 patients.

The report says the SIU has revealed its civil actions against several NGOs for making false claims against the Gauteng Health Department while psychiatric patients were under their care. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the law enforcement agency had obtained a final judgment worth R1.3m against NGOs Anchor House and Precious Angels.

According to evidence at the Moseneke Inquiry into the Life Esidimeni saga, several patients were housed at Precious Angels and others in Pretoria but most did not have a licence to take care of such patients, the inquiry found. Kganyago also said that civil actions to the tune of almost R7m have been instituted against the owners of 11 other NGOs.

“The SIU has also recovered R221 860 lost by Sassa due to the actions of NGOs,” Kganyago said.

Full report in The Star

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