never again


9 October 2017 - 9 February 2018

For 45 days the Life Esidimeni Arbitration was broadcast live across the country. Over the course of the hearings, evidence and legal argument were presented and 60 witnesses testified.

South Africans recoiled in horror at the callousness, inefficiency and arrogance at the heart of the tragedy; the failure of the public health system to protect mentally ill patients; the shocking treatment patients received in NGOS unfit to care for them; and the unimaginable cruelty families faced, as they searched for their loved ones.

But we also witnessed the courage and determination of ordinary people: lawyers, advocates, NGO's, family and friends who worked tirelessly for two years to try and stop what was happening. We saw the strength and solidarity of the families, many poor and destitute, who stood together to seek justice.

Former Deputy Chief Justice – Dikgang Moseneke’s arbitration, is a watershed moment in the struggle for democracy in our country. It is a story of how civil society held government to account and won. But the conditions that gave rise to the tragedy have not gone away. Those responsible for what happened have not been held accountable.

Democracy is not a given. It is an act to be fought for every day. We must continue to work to ensure Life Esidimeni never happens again.