The number of people who died after being moved from the care of Life Esidimeni could be 156‚ rather than the accepted number of 144 deaths. This emerged on the final day of witness testimony after more than 10 weeks of hearings. The Life Esidimeni hearings aim to find closure for families of the mentally ill patients who died following the transfer of 1‚700 patients to ill-equipped non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to Advocate Nikki Stein, representing Section 27‚ there are 12 names not included on the list of dead. Section 27 asked on December 7 that the state verify these patients had, in fact, died after leaving Life Esidimeni homes. This has not been done. The number of dead matters because Justice Dikgang Moseneke will determine a financial award for the families of victims. Moseneke told the hearing: "We’d have to devise a process that’ll bring us certainty. You are talking about lives and families and additional pain." The state and families are currently in n...

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