Shonisani Lethole’s family is calling for the suspension of the Tembisa Hospital CEO, pending a disciplinary enquiry and strengthening of the hospital’s board to improve the management and governance of the health facility.
The family was responding to the Health Ombudsman’s report on their relative’s death.
On Wednesday, Health Ombud Professor Malegapuru Makgoba released his findings on the matter and revealed that Leshole died after he was starved for more than 100 hours at the hospital in June last year.
It also found that the hospital staff lied about feeding Lethole.
Professor Makgoba recommended that disciplinary action be taken against all 19 staff members implicated.
Leshole’s mother, Particia, says, “I was so surprised to see how a hospital can be an enemy of truth.”
She says the hospital needs to be fixed urgently, especially as the country continues to battle COVID-19.
“It’s not about Shoni now. It’s about his legacy and saving other’s lives,” she told a news conference. “We can fix this Tembisa Hospital, the only thing is that my son had to die for us to see this,” she added.
The family says the poor service at Tembisa Hospital has been going on for years now.
“Many other people have died in circumstances of potential neglect and failure including Sevey Ncube, Anna Mkhize and Elias Singwayo. The people of the East Rand have been campaigning for changes to be made at the hospital for a long time.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng has also called for the immediate suspension of the hospital’s management team, who misled the Gauteng Department of Health about the state of the hospital.
The party also wants Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi to urgently appoint an independent forensic and audit firm to conduct a competency assessment of the leadership and management staff at the facility.
The CEO of the Hospital has meanwhile rejected the Ombudsman’s report and says they are seeking recourse.
“We have identified a lot of procedural errors and several omissions that have an impact on this report. We will be taking the report on appeal up to the last stage of taking it on review,” says Dr Lekopane Mogaladi.
He says hospital management was never afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses or examine whatever they were telling the ombudsman.
The provincial health department has on the other hand welcomed the Ombudsman’s report.
Apologising and extending condolences to the Leshole family, MEC Mokgethi says the department will use the recommendations of the report to improve patient experience of care and provide quality dignified services in its facilities.
The calls comes after news emerged that former Gauteng Health Department chief financial officer, Kabelo Lehloenya, had implicated Makhura in the scandal.
In her affidavit at the special tribunal, Lehloenya stated that Premier Makhura gave her the names of the companies to appoint to supply and deliver PPEs in the province.
“The DA is not surprised to learn that Premier Makhura has been implicated in the awarding of the multi-million personal protective equipment (PPEs) tenders. This PPE corruption scandal happened under Makhura’s watch and he did not do anything to prevent it. The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ask the SIU to urgently investigate these allegations levelled against the Gauteng Premier,” says the DA’s Gauteng leader, Solly Msimanga.
The Economic Freedom Fighters in the province has on the other hand called for Mkhura to resign over the matter, while the Cosatu affiliated nurses’ union, DENOSA, has urged him to take special leave.
In October, DENOSA Gauteng chairperson, Simphiwe Gada, said the union would work with Makhura once the SIU’s investigation is complete and his name is cleared.
The union says the Premier has a tendency of escaping accountability.
It has cited the Life Esidimeni tragedy, which claimed the lives of 143 psychiatric patients after the Gauteng health department moved at least 1 700 patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs and state facilities in 2016.
A manager at a Spar in Musina, Limpopo, will be appearing in the local magistrate’s court for the assault of a woman accused of theft.
The suspect allegedly doused Svodai Mugumbo with methylated spirit and his colleague, who works as a security guard, then set her on fire.
“Her entire body was burnt even the private parts,” the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the area, Alpheus Mamafa, told Local Voices.
He says the store officials tried to hide the incident.
“When I heard about this matter, I rushed to the store and I was told that the security guard took her away. I managed to find them and he was putting bandages on her – convincing her not to go to hospital,” Mafama says.
“We are not condoning stealing but proper procedures must be followed. They shouldn’t have taken the law into their own hands,” he adds.
The EFF leader says immediately ordered that the store and called the police.
The manager is behind bars and Mamafa says they also want the security guard arrested.
The store remains closed, pending talks with management.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says the assault on its members who were protesting outside the Brackenfell High School in Cape Town is a confirmation that racists are emboldened under the country’s current regime.
On Monday, a violent confrontation broke out between a group of parents from the school and members of the party who were protesting against alleged racism at the school.
The red berets were upset over a private matric celebration organised by some parents of learners who attend the school.
Only White learners were apparently at the party, which the school did not organise.
One resident was arrested for public violence after firing several shots into the air.
The EFF is threatening to return to the school to teach “racists” a lesson.
“These terror attacks will not go unanswered. The EFF will descend on Brackenfell in its entirety and ensure nothing operates. All those White racists who have an uncontrollable desire to control the movement of Black people, and dictate where we can and cannot go, will be taught the humility we taught racists in Senekal,” says the EFF in a statement.
The Western Cape education authorities have condemned the violence.
MEC Derby Schafer says: “I strongly condemn both the actions of the EFF members and those parents outside the school, who used violence to address their concerns. Violent attacks are simply not acceptable and will in no way benefit our leaners. Violence is also not the solution to solving disagreements.”
Schafer says the educators who attended the matric event won’t be disciplined as they had been invited as private guests. She called for a peaceful engagement on the racism concerns, while urging the police to protect learners who have begun writing their matric examinations.
Brackenfell High School did not host a matric ball this year due to COVID-19.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde is visiting the school today and called for calm.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), which governs the City of Cape Town, has blasted the EFF for protesting outside the school, sparking backlash from some members of the public.
The situation remains tense in Brackenfell as some parents have reportedly returned to the school. Members of the ANC and its alliance partner, Cosatu, in the Western Cape are also protesting outside the facility.
‘A past we shouldn’t seek to return to’
President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the confrontation outside Brackenfell High as deeply regrettable and has called on all parties involved to act responsibly.
He says the brawl brings back hurtful memories of a past the country should never seek to return to.
He adds that allegations of racism levelled against the school needs to be urgently investigated. “We should be ever mindful of the extent to which our actions, both publicly and in private, undermine the cherished principle of non-racialism upon which our democracy was founded,” he said.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has also expressed shock and disappointment at the news of a racially segregated matric celebration. “More disappointingly, is the fact that this event was attended by their parents and two teachers from the school,” the commission says.
“The alleged holding of a “whites only” event, if true, is also strongly condemned. No one should be allowed to bring back racial segregation to this country. The deep racial divisions of South Africa’s apartheid and colonial past cannot be healed whilst children are socialised separately on the basis of race and thus, as a nation, we will never be able to forge a South Africa where all are equal, free and are treated with dignity.”
The SAHRC has also called on the police to trace and charge the man who was caught on camera repeatedly beating a woman in EFF uniform with a stick. It has described the assault as beyond shocking.
Ex resident shares his experience of Brackenfell
Brackenfell is a small town in Cape Town situated between Durbanville and Kraaifontein. It is almost 40 minutes away from the City of Cape Town and is said to be conservatively White.
In a Facebook post, Pastor Aubrey Sibaya describes the town as racist.
“In 2013 I lived in Brackenfell. I experienced first hand racism firstly at the complex where I lived and in the shopping complex nearby just close by the school. In Brackenfell there’s a primary school, but because of racism there Black parents choose to take their children to nearby towns and suburbs. One Sunday morning I decided to have a haircut and at the Mall I found a salon owned by a White person and have coloured employees no Black person worked there then. The salon caters for all races, as usually I cut my chiskop and was asked to pay R90 and one White guy who I found at the salon had the same chiskop and paid R30 and I lost it. Those in the vicinity couldn’t believe I was standing up to this racial bigotry and asked me to calm down even though my friend requested we leave. But I stood my ground. Just where there’s Brackenfell High School there’s a complex frequented by White folks unlike one other close by to Kraaifontein.”
Sibaya is urging South Africans to work together to root out racism wherever it rears its ugly head.
“We also have to be mindful that it will take years for white folks to come around simply because of the racial indoctrination they have been exposed to. Not all White folks are racists. We need to stand up and fight for inclusivity and racial harmony, our tasks is to free the White folks from racial bigotry and we should not practice racism too. The Economic Freedom Fighters are not racists but they have total disgust for racial behaviour in our society and I agree with them in the fight against racism and though we may have a different approach as to how to wage that struggle but we all have a common understanding that racism is evil,” he adds.
The United Nations declared the apartheid’s racial policies a crime against humanity and Sibaya says South Africans of all races should also do the same.
“We may not be in the frontlines but in our workstations, schools and churches we must always speak truth and not shy away also to condemn the wrongs in our own government that is our mandate. As a man of the cloth my task is to tell you what makes you both comfortable and uncomfortable. We cannot allow these racists act happen unchallenged because they breed and or are fertile grounds for the genesis of a low intensity civil war we see emerging in our beloved country. We gonna be caught napping let us channel our efforts towards goodwill and racial harmony. We must condemn acts like the ones in the photos.”
“We have never spoken to her. I do not know her. I saw a headline that says a person has been expelled because she gave Malema information of the DA. No, the person who gives me the information of the DA is White; it is not a Black person. So, we are dealing with Whites who are concerned there at the DA that this thing is becoming racist and they are not racist. I have given some of them forms so I hope they will come soon. Very prominent Whites,” he told journalists at a press briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Molapo is also not rolling over and playing dead.
She is taking the party to court.
“After studying the DA’s irrational ruling and obtaining legal opinion on the same, I have decided to file for a review in the court of law, so as to have my case heard by an unbiased, fair and just body. After subjecting myself to all internal processes, approaching the court of law naturally becomes the next step,” she says in a statement.
Molapo says the notion that DA’s internal disciplinary hearing panels are firewalled against politics is a lie.
“Not only is the chairperson of the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) a member of the DA in Tshwane (Gauteng North region) but the chairperson of the panel that heard my appeal is married to a member of the DA in the same region. Both are au fait with the politics in the region.”
She believes that her disciplinary process was biased, unfair and its outcome was predetermined.
The Democratic Alliance is yet to respond to the developments. Acting DA Gauteng Communications Manager, Charity McCord, has told Local Voices that the party is still deliberating on the matter.
Molapo is also embroiled in a sexual harrasment tussle with the DA’s interim Gauteng leader and former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. She says the matter is with the police.
Msimanga has denied sexually harrassing Molapo and has laid a crimen injuria case against her.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has terminated Gauteng Member of the Provincial Legislature, Nkele Molapo’s, membership for leaking confidential information and strategy.
Her sacking means she also vacates the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
The legal battle between the DA and Molapo had been raging for three years now.
“Ms Nkele Molapo’s guilt has been tried by a fair process of the DA Federal Legal Commission, and after she appealed, her guilt was confirmed by an Appeal Panel of the Federal Legal Commission. The sanction imposed upon Ms Molapo is the immediate termination of her Party membership, against which there are now no possible further internal appeals,” says the party.
Molapo leaked confidential information from the DA Tshwane government to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in 2017.
Then City Mayor, Solly Msimanga, then lodged a case with the party’s Federal Legal Commission, which found Molapo guilty.
The party blames her “for handing the EFF some tactical political advantages which compromised our work.”
Molapo has denied leaking the documents, saying she had been framed.
She has told Local Voices that she and her lawyers are yet to receive official communication on the matter.
“I will be consulting with my counsel on the way forward. There won’t be further media comments from me until such time.”
Molapo’s expulsion comes amid sexual harrasment battle with Msimanga.
She alleges that the DA Gauteng interim leader groped her in 2014.
Msimanga has denied the charge and has opened a crimen injuria case against her.
Tensions are running high in Senekal where two men are appearing for the murder of farm manager, Brendin Horne.
Horne was found murdered two weeks ago at a farm, which he managed.
Economic Freedom Fighters, community members, AfriForum and farmers are gathered around the local magistrate’s court.
A former South African Defence Force member has warned against those trying to instigate war, telling Newzroom Afrika that those who want war will have it.
The South African Human Rights Commission has meanwhile called for calm.
“The Commission demands that the constitutional right to protest be exercised within the ambit of the Constitution and the law. Thus all particpants in protest action must exercise this right unarmed and peacefully,” it says in a statement.
The small town of Senekal in the Free State is a hive of activity as police gear up for any eventuality during the appearance of the two suspects in the murder of 21-year-old Brendin Horner.
Earlier this month, Horner was found tied with a rope around his neck to a pole and had injuries to his head and face.
Violence erupted during the appearance of the two suspects last week Tuesday, with Afrikaner community members in the area storming a courthouse in a bid to take the law into their hands.
Businessman Andre Pienaar was arrested for public violence following the chaotic scenes, which led to a police van and parts of the Sekenal Magistrate’s Court being set alight.
Pienaar is petitioning the High Court in Bloemfontein to release him on bail after the magistrate’s court remanded him in custody on Tuesday.
Senekal community members, concerned over the racial tensions the Horner case has sparked, held a mass prayer on Thursday.
Speaking to Joburg’s Eyewitness News, local pastor John Mathuhle said they hope tomorrow’s planned march will be peaceful.
“We know that it is everyone’s right to come and march; we just hope and pray that it won’t be something that will be confrontational. I just feel like everyone is tired of the killings that are happening in our country but we hope it will not spill into war. That’s why we are here to pray to say it will not start in Senekal. Civil war will not start in Senekal,” he said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and his Intelligence counterpart Minister Ayanda Dlodo this week also visited the area to quell tensions.
Cele said he would be attending tomorrow’s court appearance.
Economic Freedom Fighters’ members have also begun descending on the town.
Party leader Julius Malema will be leading tomorrow’s march.
He has told Newzroom Afrika that they will be defending South Africa’s democracy.
“We are not going to Senekal to sympathise with a thug, we are going to Senekal to protect our democracy, our constitution which is under threat by racist terrorist farmers who go and attack a court of law.”
According to South Africa’s accommodation guide, SA Venues, travellers are fond of Senekal, a little town in the east of Free State.
The digital platform cites the area as a popular spot in which to retire.
Houses are also said to be affordable to buy.
The area is also said to be one of the most underdeveloped towns in the Free State
The African People’s Convention (APC) in Alexandra has accused the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the African National Congress (ANC) of removing APC campaign material in the community.
The APC’s Thabo Mopase said he had received a tip-off
from a community member that children dressed in black T-shirts with ANC
regalia were removing his party’s posters. “We realized that this problem was
not done by ordinary children, they might have been youth who are well
coordinated to do this,” Mopase said.
Mopase, who left the ANC’s Alexandra branch in December 2018 to join the APC, has since requested the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to investigate, as he believes the incident represents a violation of their freedom of expression and the rules of open, free and fair democratic elections.
According to the IEC’s Electoral Code of
Conduct it is prohibited to destroy, remove or deface posters of other political
The ANC secretary in Alexandra, Banele Sangcozi, has refuted Mopase’s claims stating
that the party advocates for political tolerance. Sangcozi has called Mopase to provide
evidence of ANC members’ involvement, and says he will deal with any members
found to have been involved.
Meanwhile the chairman of the ANC in
Alexandra, Thulani Ndlovu, has launched a formal investigation into Mopase’s claims.
– Alex FM (edited by Veronical Makhoali)