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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

SAHRC Response on Statement by the Democratic Alliance on Esidimeni Patient Transfers

Tuesday, 7 February 2017
 
“The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) re-iterates its deep regret at the grave tragedy that unfolded following the transfer of patients from Life Esidimeni. The Commission notes that this is a matter that requires close attention to avoid a re-occurrence of such a tragedy in future,” said Advocate Bongani Majola, Chairperson of the Commission in response to the statement attributed to the Democratic Alliance (DA).

The Chairperson expressed concern that anyone would issue such a statement without first engaging with the Commission. Such an engagement would have benefited the author in that the Commission would have availed information about the steps it had taken in this matter.
 
In his report, the Health Ombud, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, specifically acknowledges the contributions made by the Commission to his investigation. 
 
For example, the Ombud’s report makes specific mention of the Commission’s investigation into Precious Angels Home as appears in the section titled “Timelines of great concern”, which includes ‘The Voice of the SAHRC’. 
 
A number of factors informed the Commission’s handling of the matter. Amongst those were the earlier determinations by the courts. The other factors were the level of the technical, medical expertise required for a probe of this nature. The Commission had also noted that the Office of the Health Ombud had been appointed to investigate the matter and thus determined to support the investigation by the Health Ombud.

The Commission’s investigation into such human rights violations will continue, wherever and whenever such violations occur and we will act without fear or favour as we have continued to do in the past and will continue to do so in the future. This is not only in line with our constitutional mandate to protect human rights, but also as the ethos and vision of the people who work for the SAHRC together with all our stakeholders in ensuring the fundamental protection of human rights as enshrined in the constitution.  The SAHRC probe therefore seeks to strengthen protections for human rights and to create a national space through which stakeholders are able to contribute to the probe.
 
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Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission 
 
Media queries:
 
Gushwell Brooks (Communications Co-ordinator) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    0826458573

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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