Claims that patient was starved for 48 hours before he died not true, says hospital

03 July 2020 - 15:05 By Shonisani Tshikalange
The department gave the assurance that nothing would be swept under the carpet when they visited the family of Shonisani Lethole on Thursday.
The department gave the assurance that nothing would be swept under the carpet when they visited the family of Shonisani Lethole on Thursday.
Image: Tembisa Hospital via Facebook

Tembisa hospital CEO Lekopane Mogaladi said on Friday that claims that Shonisani Lethole did not receive food for 48 hours before his death were untrue.

On June 25, Lethole, who was a patient at the hospital, turned to Twitter, tagging health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, as he complained about not being fed for two days. Lethole died on Monday, just four days after his tweet.

While the Gauteng health department has launched an investigation, Mogaladi said the hospital had proof that the allegations of him not being fed were untrue.

“The narrative is incorrect. There is nothing like not being fed. He was actually being fed. I cannot share much detail at the moment,” said Mogaladi, adding that the hospital had “all the facts at our disposal”.

“Food was always being served, patients were always given food. I can assure you that the hospital is very clear, once the principal [the health department] gives the go-ahead we have all the information to show that the allegations are not correct,” he said.

Mogaladi said he was unable to divulge too much information as the department and hospital had decided to allow the family space to mourn in private.

“The meeting between the office of the MEC and the family was that the family needed time to mourn. We had an initial agreement that out of respect for the family we should not actually go ahead and discuss this matter further to allow the family time for mourning,” he said.

The Gauteng health department has launched an investigation into the matter. Department officials from the department visited the family on Thursday.

The department also gave the assurance that nothing will be swept under the carpet.


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