Busiswe Makhubela, a family member of one of more than 140 people who died in the Life Esidimeni saga, wipes tears during the dispute resolution hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: Itumeleng English / ANA

The families of people affected by the Life Esidimeni tragedy in South Africa will each receive R200 000 payout. 

On Thursday morning Section 27 legal representative Advocate Adila Hassim informed retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that they had reached an agreement with the state that families will receive R20 000 for funeral costs and R180 000 for emotional shock. 

The families will also receive counselling and they have to finalise where a memorial for victims should be.   

The agreement was reached for clients of Solidarity and Section 27. LegalAid South Africa is still working on a settlement for their clients. 

On Thurday morning, lawyers are going to argue on what Constitutional damages the families are supposed to get. 

State legal representative Advocate Tebogo Hutamo also confirmed that Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba verified the 12 deaths that were raised on the last day of hearing last week. Makgoba verified that only one person can be included in the final count. 

Earlier this week, Makgoba said the death toll for psychiatric patients who died when they were moved from Life Esidimeni to NGOs was 140. Makgoba said he agreed with the the 144 provided by the police but clarified that four of the mental healthcare users do not qualify for inclusion in the alternative dispute resolution process.
So, with the inclusion of the latest verification the death toll is at 141. 

The Star