Claims of negligence against state hospital surface at commission

2013-07-07 06:00

A legal representative of the KwaZulu-Natal health department was granted permission to delay hearings of the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) commission of inquiry after allegation of negligence were made during a witness’ testimony on Friday.

Thandeka Dlamini, who is a nurse by profession, has been recounting to the commission the poor care her son had received at Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

Her son, Thami Dlamini (25), was transported there when he collapsed after participating in an RTI fitness test, which was part of a recruitment effort, on December 27.

Eight people died and the commission was established to investigate the events that had led to the deaths.

Thami survived but still complains of pain and suffers from exhaustion.

Dlamini said her son was wearing a dirty hospital gown when she first found him in hospital. When she requested new linen, she was told that there was none.

This was after spending a considerable time trying to find her son, who had been admitted the night before. At one point she thought her son had died and nurses were too scared to tell her the truth.

She said her son had been diagnosed with renal failure. As a result, he could not pass urine. But despite this, in the four-day stay at the hospital, he was not put on dialysis.

Instead, she claimed the hospital had lied about him having passed 300 millilitres of urine.

She ended up requesting that he be moved to a different hospital.

When her son got to Grey’s Hospital, also in Pietermaritzburg, he was seriously ill.

“His entire body was swollen. He had blisters all over his body. He was a sight to marvel at. You could hardly recognise him. He could not move on his own,” Dlamini testified.

But even here she had to reprimand a doctor who wanted to use a needle he had been using to draw blood on her son’s one hand, on another hand, having placed it on a blanket.

Her efforts to ensure proper care for her son included making a call to Sibongiseni Dhlomo, the KZN MEC of health, she said.

Before starting his cross-examination of Dlamini, Advocate Thulani Khuzwayo, for the department of health, requested the afternoon to consult with the staff at Northdale Hospital.

He later said he was uncomfortable with inferences suggesting negligence by the hospital and requested a postponement.

The doctor who had treated her son, as well as the CEO of Northdale Hospital, are set to testify this week.

The commission continues tomorrow.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.