The Gauteng Health MEC is facing a R9.4m damages claim following the death of Chris Dekker, who allegedly overdosed on medication, says a Pretoria News report. Central to the claim is a comment by a senior official who apparently told the staff that ‘he is a drug addict’ and that ‘those people do not value life’.

It is claimed that Dekker was simply left in the corner without being attended to. According to papers before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), Dekker was struggling to breathe when he was admitted to Kalafong Hospital. But because it was believed that he had overdosed on medication, the staff was allegedly told to ‘place him in a corner where he cannot bother anyone’.

A doctor who does not want to be identified, apparently overheard the hospital official telling the nurses that ‘if he should live, that is great and if he dies, that would be unfortunate’.

Dekker died, and his wife Martha Dekker is blaming it on the negligence of the hospital.

An autopsy done by the hospital showed that he had died of an overdose of prescription medication. But the family claimed the hospital refused to do a ‘proper autopsy’.

Full Pretoria News report