never again

1 Christine Nxumalo her sister Virginia Machpelah

Waverley Care Centre

getting in bus

Patients were loaded onto buses, without families knowing they were being moved.

The Stampede

In June 2016, mental health care patients were moved out of Life Esidimeni facilities. Some patients were sent home. Many were loaded onto buses without their belongings, shoes or medical records. This photograph is of patients being loaded onto buses outside Life Esidimeni Waverley.

Families were not told about the move and spent months searching for their loved ones.

A WhatsApp group set up by SADAG and The Family Committee helped desperate family members find answers. Here is a short snippet of hundreds of messages that were posted.

  • I am at Waverley and patients are leaving.
  • Leaving now?
  • My brother is at Waverley. I have not heard anything about this move. Who do I check with?
  • They promised to tell families before transferring...def contact the Dep immediately
  • The same thing is happening in Randfontein. The phones are just ringing.
  • Eish I haven’t heard anything about my brother.
  • I am disappointed with DOH. They are heartless and cruel.
  • No we haven't heard anything. Waiting waiting suspense is killing
  • They promised us a list of patients and their place of placement.
  • Life Esidimeni transferred my sister to Takalani & they didn't tell us anything
  • They lied straight into our eyes that it won’t happen. Sies!
  • One more bus to leave and three verco taxis
  • My brother is at Waverley, I've heard nothing about his movement and trying to call but their phone is not working any alternative number to call?
  • What kind of nonsense is that when they said this won't happen