Report into how Shonisani Lethole died 'overwhelming', his parents say
Shonisani Lethole's parents say the past seven months since losing their son have been traumatising.
“Not knowing what really happened to Shonisani has been incredibly hard for all of us.
“With the release of the health ombud’s report, we finally know the facts of how he died,” his parents, Vhahangwele and Albert Lethole, said in a statement after the initial reading of the final report released by the health ombud on Wednesday
Lethole died from Covid-19 at the Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital on June 29 last year.
The health ombud report stated that the care rendered to Lethole was not only substandard but also negligent.
“It is overwhelming. The report confirms many, many failures in management, governance and medical care at Tembisa Hospital. From what we have read so far, it also confirms that Shonisani’s account of what happened was true,” Lethole's parents said.
They said the report confirmed Lethole did not receive food for two days after arrival at the hospital and the last two days as he was dying.
“This led to Shoni respectfully tweeting the national minister for health for assistance. It also makes clear that he was admitted to a Covid-19 ward before his test results were confirmed.”
The family said there were many other failures which they needed to review before commenting further.
“But it is now clear that what was going on at Tembisa Hospital was very disturbing. It is possible that these failures of management may still be going on.”
The family said to save lives in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the report’s key recommendations must be urgently implemented.
“We must fix Tembisa Hospital now so that everyone in the East Rand trust they can receive good, dignified health care.”
The parents said the family was grateful to the office of the health ombud and his dedicated team for conducting a thorough but swift investigation with great integrity.
“We also want to thank the thousands of people who joined us to campaign for Justice for Shoni. Together we raised our voices and today we took a step closer to justice.”