Ramakgopa said the department had managed to transfer 750 patients from the unlicensed NGO’s. “However the difficulties in finding the 21 patients are due to poor record-keeping during the project which left the department with very little and unverified information‚” she said.
“As a department we are concerned about the status quo and we therefore call on citizens to cooperate with police to assist with location of these patients. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to make sure that all are accounted for‚” said Ramokgopa.
She said that initially about 100 patients had been unaccounted for but after investigations incorporating home affairs‚ the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)‚ department of social development and police‚ many of them were found. Some were already back in the care of their families.
On the missing 21‚ Ramakgopa said: “We will continue to spare no effort … to ensure we close this chapter on this tragic episode.”