Thuli Madonsela slams 'shocking' death of Shonisani Lethole at Tembisa Hospital

Social media reacts to health ombud's findings on Lethole's death last year

27 January 2021 - 17:09
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela was shocked at the health ombudsman's findings on the death of Shonisani Lethole, saying SA needs an ubuntu reset. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela was shocked at the health ombudsman's findings on the death of Shonisani Lethole, saying SA needs an ubuntu reset. File photo.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela described as “shocking” the findings of the health ombud into the death of 34-year-old Shonisani Lethole, saying the report indicated an alarming ubuntu deficit.

“The report makes a strong case for us to reflect on the ubuntu deficit among us, including some of our health professionals. We need a kindness-ubuntu revolution and reset for all our sakes,” Madonsela tweeted. 

In a report released on Wednesday, the health ombud found that the care rendered to Lethole at Tembisa Hospital in June last year was not only substandard but also negligent.

Lethole died at the hospital on June 30 after testing positive for Covid-19.

But before he died, Lethole took to social media to reach out to health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize about what he said were deplorable conditions at the hospital, and claimed he was being starved.

Mkhize lodged a complaint with the health ombudsman, Dr Malegapuru Makgoba, and an investigation into Lethole's death was launched.

Makgoba found that Lethole was not offered food during his stay in hospital, for a total of 100 hours and 54 minutes.

Several social media users voiced their outrage after the release of the report. 

Facebook user Tebogo Moalusi wrote that the wheels of justice were turning. 

“They may be slow, but they are turning. We just heard a report that your death was surrounded by incompetence, lack of care and negligence and that 19 nurses and doctors at Tembisa Hospital must go through disciplinary process. 

“Your death will not be in vain, brother. The wheels of justice are turning. But nothing will bring you back ... We remember you still. Protect us as we still navigate and survive this pandemic that took you from us. Remember, it’s your brother Muziwethu Mtshali's birthday today. Be with him on this complex and difficult day,” said Moalusi.

A second comment read that the leadership of the hospital was “a disgrace”.

“We put faith in these institutions only to be failed time and time again,” the user said.

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