South Africa: Mental health patients crammed into small house, sleeping in cots, survey finds


“It was a small house, and the patients were 18 years old in this house, basically a four-room house and the adult patients slept in cribs… not really suited to be a place for the mentally ill.”

Senior health officials did not take action when alerted to the inadequacy of a facility housing mental health patients in the state who had been displaced from Life Esidimeni.

This is the testimony of Gauteng’s deputy director of mental health, Nonceba Sennelo, who testified Monday during the Life Esidimeni investigation into the condition in which the patients at the Precious Angels facility were found.

“We visited Precious Angels in July and the placement took place in June, but at that time no deaths were reported … [the then mental healthcare director] Dr. [Makgabo] Manamela, who sent someone else to check and we recommended that this place be closed immediately and that the patients be transferred, ”Sennelo told the inquest into the deaths of at least 144 patients with the disorders. mentally in 2016. They died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni. small, unfunded NGOs.

Describing the precious angels, Sennelo said, “It was a small house, and …


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