Kimberley Diocese Speaks Out on Deaths

Statement on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people by the Bishop Of Kimberley at the 52nd Session of the Diocesan Synod

Commentary on the death of 94 Mentally challenged people

The 52nd Session of the Synod of the Anglican Church of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman expressed great sadness at the deaths of 94 mental patients who died because they were disrupted by what appears to be insensitive relocation.

We learnt that despite objections and pleas by their families their comfort thus contributing directly to their tragic deaths.

We further noted the cold and insensitive attitude of the speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Baleka Mbete, who found it impossible to concede to a request for a moment of silence to acknowledge the tragedy.

We believe that such a gesture would have meant a lot to the grieving families. Unfortunately, this rejection reflected on the entire ruling party since none of them risked the opportunity of making such a conciliatory and sympathetic gesture.

We continue to pray for the families as they struggle to get to grips with the situation. We also pray for those in authority that they may be enabled to make good and right decisions – rather than expedient ones.

May God bless all who can and do make a difference and may we all be convicted to always take the right decisions for the benefit of the vulnerable people in our midst.

The Right Revd Oswald Swartz
on behalf of the Synod of the Diocese of Kimberley & Kuruman

NB: At the time when this statement was being prepared, it was reported in the press that the number of deceased had grown to 100 and probably beyond. We make a serious call for those in authority to address this matter with the urgency it deserves and take bold steps in putting remedial plans into place.

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