Nurses ignore mom giving birth on pavement

2012-11-21 09:39

Pretoria - A woman gave birth to her baby on the pavement outside a clinic while nurses looked on and refused to help.

Onicca Babedi told Eyewitness News that she found Nomsa Mathebula in labour on the pavement outside the Soshanguve Clinic near Pretoria.

Mathebula had apparently been turned away and referred to a larger hospital as her blood pressure was too low.

Mathebula collapsed mere metres from the clinic’s front gate and went into labour. Despite calls for help, nurses wouldn’t come out of the building.

When the baby wasn’t breathing, Babedi also tried to get nurses to assist Mathebula.

“I started calling everyone, screaming. I was panicking as well, but nobody was helping - they just looked at me.”

She called the police and only once officers arrived did nurses join them.

There was no comment from the Gauteng department of health.

  • lynnethbs - 2012-11-21 09:51

    that clinic is rubbish they need to be taught a lesson!

      nomcebo.k.kubheka.3 - 2012-11-21 10:16

      I hope this woman sues them. How inhuman can people be sies man, disguisting!

      Richard - 2012-11-21 10:25

      This has nothing to do with voting, This is just shamfull and disgusting. They should fire all the nurses asses or send them for training. They showed no compassion. Just bad service delivery from people that have taken an oath to protect and serve others. Disgusting.

      Willie - 2012-11-21 10:25

      Which clinic in Soshanguve,there are several clinics in that part of the world.The article does not specify the impression is there is only one clinic there

      ditantane.kganakga - 2012-11-21 10:30

      Jonny this is not about politics and the nurses are not voted in - 2012-11-21 10:50

      fire the whole incompetant lot, strip them of their right to work as a nurse, f'n useless

      John - 2012-11-21 10:54

      Just another example of how little life is valued by some in SA

      heini.botes - 2012-11-21 11:28

      I love the last sentence.."There was no comment from the Gauteng department of health." hahaha, there never is. With the cANCer in power stories end with "There was no comment" OR my favourite "It will be investigated" only to never be hear of again!! Hehe, useless bafoons!!

      rbphiri - 2012-11-21 11:57

      Pathetic nurses, USELESS ENTITIES, THEY ARE A WASTE OF SPERM AND OXYGEN. I have seen how clinics operate, in most clinics nurses just loath around in their mammoth weight, gossiping and drinking tea! some of them fail to understand simple medical terms, some feel they are qualified doctors just because they have the whole series of Grey's Anatomy. What a group of inhumane, useless individuals!

      rbphiri - 2012-11-21 11:59

      The butthole clinic is just the same as our government POOR SERVICE DELIVERY!!!

      ian.flack2 - 2012-11-21 12:02

      Gone are the days when Nursing was a calling and Nurses is now nothing more than a job!!!!!! (Please there are still some Nurses who do care but their numbers are dwindling).......

      leroy.reynolds.353 - 2012-11-21 12:14

      Why are there only nurses indicated here, what about doctors,bystanders,and everyone else. My mother is a damn good nurse and has been doing it for 30 years, for me to find the ward is like walking into a is not only nurses responsible for the care onany human being

      ex.dutchman - 2012-11-21 12:44

      Leroy, You did not read the article. A member of public did help the woman and tried in vain to get the nurses to respond. Not all the clinics have doctors on the premises all the time. Another case of lethargic, uncaring nurses. Now think back 20 – 25 years. Did this sort of thing happen? YES, but normally only in rural clinics way of the beaten track. And then it was swept under the carpet. Getting back to today – does this sort of thing happen all over the country? YES, but certainly not in all clinics and hospitals. So generalising regarding the pre 1994 situations is WRONG and generalising about the current situation is WRONG as well.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2012-11-21 12:46

      The nurses involved (or rather, not involved!) should be reported to South African Nursing Council (SANC) immediately. SANC is the body which disciplines nurses, sets exams and has the power to remove nurses from their roll/register.

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-21 13:06

      heini.botes you forgot 'heads will roll', 'no stone will be left unturned'

      leroy.reynolds.353 - 2012-11-21 13:33

      If i could share some of the stories my mother has shared with me about the neglect some nurses have towards patiance and even other staff, you will be shocked... reporting them solves nothing either, the demand for medical staff is too high.

      pierre.pretorius.370 - 2012-11-21 13:59

      I truly believe that these nurses should serve jail time. Disgusting human beings.

      ethan.pugh.92 - 2012-11-22 02:32

      As long as South Africans accept a culture of lawlessness and disrespect for life, liberty, courtesy, morality and rule of law... such events will occur. How can we black people say that we observe ubuntu when we are simply selfish and self-entitled elitists? Sies man. This is an indictment on our dark skins, and we look stupid because of this.

      desiree.dewaal1 - 2012-11-22 07:29

      Ian.flack2, there are nurses who still care, but cannot find jobs because these incompetent #F$#$$ are sitting in those jobs. I think that our labour laws need to be addressed and the whole disciplinary code re-addressed. Incompetence and lack of caring especially in this profession should not be excused or tolerated. The nurses do what they want to because they know getting rid of them is a tedious, time consuming and often futile exercise.

      preshen.govender.12382 - 2012-11-22 08:36

      "These Streets That We Live Upon"

      NickvanGraan - 2012-11-22 10:09

      Those are not proper nurses. They are unemployable layabouts who would rather be yaking up a storm with their mates in the tea room.

      Msika - 2012-11-22 12:18

      Close the clinic and fire everyone involved, we are better off without them. Shame on them.

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-11-22 15:13

      Typical day in africa. The black ppl do not care about there own. You always here about these rural clinicc nurses and government nurses at how they just ignore these patients. Its tuely disgusting at how this culture treats its sick and pregnant patients.

      nkululeko.k.mpungose - 2012-11-23 04:28

      @Arthut Marks: this has got nothing to do with the ANC you twit! You are too obsessed with politics thta it even makes your brain fart

  • john.mcguinness.9465 - 2012-11-21 09:52

    Did the baby it wasn't breathing. Shame, sack the callous nurses as they are sub human

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 10:16

      Was on 702 this morning. Both mother and kid fine.

      andreviljoenjoubert - 2012-11-21 10:23

      Thanks Knenpeg. Thank goodness

      arthur.marks.754 - 2012-11-21 12:11

      They are not nurses asses, only wearing the uniform so that they can receive the salaries at month end. Thank the cANCer govt.

      alexia.gambino - 2012-11-21 13:42

      So typical. We used to have the best qualified nurses in the world. All that is left now is a bunch of obese, self-centered, uncaring idiots.

      JHLR73 - 2012-11-22 10:51

      @ Alexia- you are so right!! But isn't it amazing when it comes to salary increase negotiations every year how suddenly these people have so much energy to jump up and down and run down the streets and sing and dance and break everything in their way. It amazes me!!!

  • darren.peach - 2012-11-21 09:52

    Hippocratic Oath ? Where are the Ethics ? Note to self, Health care professionals are not the beacon of light we thought they were...

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-11-21 10:26

      Ethics? In Africa?

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-21 10:40

      These nurses obvious studied at the kfc School of Obstruction...

      george.frangs - 2012-11-21 11:03

      Dude, really? Our president just swindled the entire countryand you expect nurses at a clinic to adhere to these oaths? I really wish I shared your optimism.

      wesley.fick - 2012-11-21 12:53

      Last time I checked, Nurses and Paramedics aren't required to take the Oath, only doctors. This is a tragic event and a huge lack of compassion for their fellow citizen. All those nurses should be fired and taken to court for negligence.

      darren.peach - 2012-11-21 16:12

      @wesley Point being, Surely a doctor saw this ? A pregnant woman is ignored while she is giving birth on a pavement. Don't tell me there were no Doctors at the Clinic.

  • narwahl.fortune - 2012-11-21 09:52

    So why only come out when the police arrive????

      Alan - 2012-11-21 10:25

      Maybe the nurses thought it was a scam and they would be mugged by someone behind a bush if they went out.

      nathan.g.moss - 2012-11-21 12:47

      Ya Alan I’ve heard of that scam. The crooks hire a woman who can fake having low blood pressure and can give birth at will. I can’t believe how stupid some people are, where you separated at birth from your Brother Malema.

      pokum - 2012-11-22 09:26

      I mean if her blood pressure was low and it was a potential danger why not keep her in the clinic and call an ambulance to transport her to the hospital, why endager her life and her baby's life by telling her to get herself to a hospital - 2012-11-22 16:17

      They probably thought that with the police there'll be a news team and camera so they can get onto the telly.

  • lisa.evansdominick - 2012-11-21 09:53

    What has happened to our beautiful country?

      Elisha - 2012-11-21 10:17

      The ANC has happened!

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2012-11-21 11:06

      64 years (and counting) of incompetent and racist "rulers" happened.

      Jeremy - 2012-11-21 11:50

      Malcolm, they may have been racist, but incompetent? Well, put it this way, things worked, albeit for the minority! And this government wants to do away with medical aid and private hospitals! Not going to happen!

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2012-11-21 12:50

      Look there are various degrees of incompetent, I'm certainly not going to try and argue that they were as incompetent or corrupt as the ANC as that would just be a lie, but in comparison to the rest of the world the NP were pretty corrupt and useless. Things working (only just and only for the minority at that) is a pretty low yardstick to be basing measurements off. Crony appointments, lazy nurses, lazy home affairs officials. These are not something the ANC invented, true they have embraced it and cemented it even further instead of fixing it, but truth be told the seeds were there even before they took over, in a way they are just mimicking what they saw the NP do before them. Had the NP been less incompetent it probably would have taken far more to bring apartheid down, so in a way we should be thankful for it.

      wim.kotze.9 - 2012-11-21 20:59

      @ Malcolm james macleod. Got your ass kicked by a dutchman?

      merven.halo - 2012-11-22 07:35

      "but truth be told the seeds were there even before they took over," @malcolm, that is bullshiat. The apartheid years might've been many things, but the hospitals and other government bodies worked like clock work, for all. Ask any black person older than 40.

      heibrin.venter - 2012-11-23 05:33

      @Mervin: Hence why most of the over 40's would tell you that they were better off under apartheid in as far as medical care (used to be on standard and free!), education (used to be free and of a very high standard) and other services goes. But hey, I'll be called an apartheid lover or racist for saying that. Go figure.

  • kaykay.son.50 - 2012-11-21 09:55

    Nothing strange here. Just feeling pity for the poor lady (one who gave birth) who had to go through this and for the helper as well. But really who expect that nurses knew what to do when they get to the situation? They did things by the book. They do not know that a person can give birth outside hospital and not in a ward. Hence they did not know what to do! Simple as that. Their duty at clinic is to check and refer people elsewhere, if the person does not make it, it is none of their business. They simply do not know how to deal with a situation as long as it is not in the normal situation according to what they were trained to do!

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-21 10:19

      RUBBISH, sheer humanity is was counts here. The poor woman was in distress..........bloody hell!

      denise.papas - 2012-11-21 10:39

      It does not matter whether the lady gave birth in the clinic or on the pavement - they should have still assisted her. Glad mother and child are okay

      p.borchard - 2012-11-21 10:42

      It is called "pass the buck". Zuma and his whole cabinet has taught them well how to make it someone else's problem. Pathetic. And now we are expected to embrace a national health system like this ... in your dreams.

      mauneen - 2012-11-21 10:46

      You obviously don't know what you are talking about. A clinic is run with trained nursing staff. If they don't know what to do - they should not be there. They are lazy, self-centred and inhumane. They should NEVER be allowed back near the clinic, never mind working there. Stop looking for excuses for INCOMPETENCE!

      malcolm.james.macleod - 2012-11-21 11:07

      "They do not know that a person can give birth outside hospital and not in a ward." If they do not know this then they should not have qualified as nurses, even primary school kids should know this. Maybe these nurses should be sent back to primary school.

      george.frangs - 2012-11-21 11:14

      You've nailed it man.... And sadly that does not just apply to this situation but all over.

      indianajohn - 2012-11-21 13:17

      "They do not know that a person can give birth outside hospital and not in a ward." Please stop breathing. Right now. You don't deserve it. And if those nurses are as dumb as you are, fire all of them too. good bloody grief

  • cj.venter - 2012-11-21 09:56

    typical new south africa "it's not my job" really, really sad :(

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 11:24

      There is a BIG difference between my job and my ethical calling.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-21 09:56

    Another typical one.

  • Hemlock - 2012-11-21 09:57 the whole lot of them. They don't have the right to be called nurses. Lazy COWS! They should never again ge allowed to work as nurses!!!!

      Elisha - 2012-11-21 10:19

      They should all be tried and found guilty of negligence and maybe even attempted murder. if the baby died, then tried for murder!

      Hemlock - 2012-11-21 10:22

      @LionLamb... Fully agree with you. They are disgusting and don't give a fig about life...all they care about is the pay cheque at the end of the month. They are sub-human.

      vincent.mafooa - 2012-11-21 10:58

      @Hemlock, true that, and the next thing they will be toppling like dustbins like stray dogs and burning property toyitoying for salary increase while they don't even do their job properly, how difficult can it be to do a job which you have been thoruoghly trained to do.

  • mathilde.duplessis - 2012-11-21 10:01

    What happened to Ubuntu?

      Elisha - 2012-11-21 10:19

      what is Ubuntu?

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 11:24

      U Buntu keep quiet.

      maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-21 13:10

      Ub who?

      esther.coetzee.50 - 2012-11-21 17:01

      It is a myth

      merven.halo - 2012-11-22 07:37

      Ubuntu is well and alive under the ANC cadres. Look how wealthy and rich they all are.

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-11-21 10:02

    public health at it best, useless and corrupt

  • ivan.vandermerwe.10 - 2012-11-21 10:03

    Fire the lot of them. They are no better than those in Govt.

  • briana.scott - 2012-11-21 10:06


  • richard.barnard2 - 2012-11-21 10:06

    What about their OATH?

      mauneen - 2012-11-21 10:41

      They don't care for laws or rules. Why would they care about an oath?

      Chris - 2012-11-21 15:11

      what oath , Mau Mau had an oath and what did they do

  • mark.klerk.7 - 2012-11-21 10:08

    No surprises there from what is clear to be incompetent people doing jobs that should have earned and not been given because they clearly dont give a f&*k

      Elisha - 2012-11-21 10:20

      Exactly. BEE is the dumbest idea ever.

  • lunghile.ndleve - 2012-11-21 10:09

    Fire all the nurses who were there, hire new ones and make sure they know the story of why the old team was fired. Yes those nurses are mothers and fathers but some offences should come with a written warning, immediate dismissal is the only option.

  • Genesistt - 2012-11-21 10:11

    My God! And these people have the nerve to call themselves healthcare professionals? Fire them! The system will be better off without them.

      merven.halo - 2012-11-22 07:38

      Jip, healthcare professionals, the "professionals" leaving a bitter taste...

  • mauneen - 2012-11-21 10:11

    How insane! They should not be nursing. I have no idea why many of the nurses are nursing today. This is not a JOB! It is a calling and it calls for compassion, care and realisation that mistakes in the nursing profession do not end in dustbins, but in graves.

  • kenpeg.dawson - 2012-11-21 10:16

    They are a disgrace to the nursing profession and should be stripped of authority to practice and fired.

  • gugu.malembe - 2012-11-21 10:24


      mammone.tau.5 - 2012-11-22 17:32

      It is somehow relevant. Cause the Health Department led by the Party in charge has failed numerous times to deal wth such things. This is why we r reading this today, that's why they have so many lawsuits.. And then all these people have Medical Aids cause they know their service is s**t.

  • luyolo.mgodi - 2012-11-21 10:25

    Someone needs to be held responsible. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-11-21 10:28

      It is unacceptable (in a civilised country). Be assured, no one will be held responsible and any statement from the Health Department will be the usual hot air, fob-off, FU type of response - as usual.

  • sifiso.mabizela.1 - 2012-11-21 10:25

    I can't remember when was the last time I heard something good or possitive said about the Nurses

      olivia.kgatla - 2012-11-21 10:42

      The problem with nurses esp those who service poor areas is they look down at the people they are supposed to serve.

      Khetha Hlophe - 2012-11-22 23:57

      Am not suprised because when they do good no one cares

  • Deejay Choma - 2012-11-21 10:27

    I'm speechless, we really need prayers in our country.

  • enid.matthews - 2012-11-21 10:28

    These nurses arent the title worth, they should all be fired, there are plenty of well qualified women out there capable of doing the job and that is actually in it for the love of helping people and not just for the salary.

  • negry.mabasa - 2012-11-21 10:31

    This sad,so sad!!

  • ursula.thyssen - 2012-11-21 10:32

    No human( mother) should go through that alone..nevermind who and what we are...hope baby and mummy doing ok..if baby is still alive...Iam 2 months away from giving birth to my baby..and believe me..i will pray harder than ever...for myself and baby to be healthy..Since 1994...all good turned bad...cause of the saying " its our time now"... This is just the beginning of many worse case scenarios i guess..

  • oscar.mthembu.75 - 2012-11-21 10:32

    Nobody votes for nurses, please do away with stupid comments that revolve around hatred and obsession with a particular object that is irrelevant in this instance.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-21 11:32

      You bloody moron, they are put there by the party in power which is the cANCer. Probably a party member are you?

      oscar.mthembu.75 - 2012-11-21 11:57

      Why can't I be allowed to educate imbeciles like heini. botes, whose low minds make them tkink that the ANC hires nurses. Idiots, fools...

      vluiz - 2012-11-21 12:10

      If you don't think the responsibility end with the cANCer then YOU need educating.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-21 12:15

      Everything state owed or runned boils down to the party in power! Bit daft are we?

      ex.dutchman - 2012-11-21 12:53

      Oscar, 100% - ANC does not hire nurses. ANC hires the minister responsible for nursing who in turn hires the crony in charge of the health department, who in turn hires the incompetent manager who hires the nurses. Now I am sure the nurses in question are not all incompetent. But that they are uncaring is not to be disputed. So EASY; fire the lot of them! No that is not going to help. This step will then generate a lot of emotion and the clinic will be burnt to the ground along with a lot of other infrastructure. The answer is fire the management. That is where the issue is. Good managers will foster good workers

  • trudy.riet - 2012-11-21 10:32

    people who don't want to help others and have no compassion, should not be in the nursing profession

  • vincent.mafooa - 2012-11-21 10:35

    Only in South Africa, "Alive with posibilities"

  • zelda.dickson - 2012-11-21 10:37

    They should be fired instantly. There are very very few dedicated nurses in this country. Gone are those days. They just want to sit doing squat so long as they get paid for it.

  • neo.mphuthi.12 - 2012-11-21 10:39

    those stupid nurses should go for hearing

      cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-11-21 11:02

      No, they should be fired.

      cathy.dejongh.5 - 2012-11-21 11:05

      Also, even people that are NOT nurses would have helped this woman - they ignored her on purpose.

  • ursula.thyssen - 2012-11-21 10:39

    Oscar...what if the women were your wife or girlfriend..would you act in the same way? Please..

  • storm.trooper.125 - 2012-11-21 10:40


  • emilyjane.elson - 2012-11-21 10:42

    You can't call these nurses at clinics nurses. Nurses SHOULD know basics about a lot of sickness, ailments etc so that they would've then been able to help - but it's apparent they know squat! My nanny had a SERIOUS kidney infection, went to the clinic, waited 5hrs and was sent home with Folic Acid Tabs and Vit C. Wtf?? I was in hospital after a serious accident and the new training nurses couldn't speak English and didn't know how to take my temp with an ear thermometer!! IN A HOSPITAL

  • bernice.thompson.77 - 2012-11-21 10:42

    These lazy fat arsed cows that dare to call themselves NURSES should be fired on the spot and never be allowed to treat anything in there lives again. What happened to caring about a fellow human being. I have had the misfortune of dealing with these arrogant NURSES on more then one occasion, you would think they were sitting in parliament the way they treat others.

      susan.longmoor - 2012-11-21 16:46

      You hit the nail on the head Bernice. These things are quick to shout for a payrise but don't deserve what they currently earn. Inhuman, uncaring and thick skinned people shouldn't be in this industry.

  • arthur.vandermerwe - 2012-11-21 10:43

    Where are the days where nurses had a code, and actually gave a dam about patients? This is pathetic! They should be repremanded!! they should have known how far she was dialiated, and called an ambulance that would have had drugs to push up the blood pressure. Pathetic what healthcare has come to

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-11-21 10:44

    What the hell are they nurses for, if not to help a person in need, Fire the lot of them, and get the Nursing council involved, These nurses are just a bunch of uneducated idiots, and most probably purchased their degrees from the nearest sangorma.

  • chabie.mohlala - 2012-11-21 10:44

    those nurses deserves to rot in jail,,thts so so cruel of them to do such a thing...hope the mother and her child are doing well by now..the lady needs advices on how to go suing the hospital.

  • angelique.p.ervin - 2012-11-21 10:46

    Incompetence and utter stupidity coming from public hospitals and the horror stories that come out in the public usually don't surprise me anymore, but this rattled my bones to the core.this is just horrible, really shocking and so sad.I pray God has his hands on this women and especially the baby.the report does not say if anyone was able to resuscitate the baby though. Amazing how the nurses only come out when police arrive.the nurses and hospital should have criminal charges pressed against them. God Bless this women and baby!!!

  • nozukon - 2012-11-21 10:46

    people just dont have humanity at all.What happened to caring for one another

  • cristina.salva.7 - 2012-11-21 10:46

    My word!!!

  • david.smit.330 - 2012-11-21 10:47

    An ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!!!!!! As a family member of a nurse, who is the embodiment of selflessness and caring, and who has often short-changed herself for the better of others I find the behaviour of these females (good-manners prevent me from using the canine description) absolutely disgusting. Apart from the professional side, where the hell is their humanity?! I spit on them.

  • annerie.m.coetzee - 2012-11-21 10:49

    "It is not in my job description"

  • sharmaine.scott.1 - 2012-11-21 10:50


  • Nombuso Msane - 2012-11-21 10:50

    No wonder Dept of health is being sued left right n centre! how do u send a pregnant woman wth low bp home? Why do we hv ambulances? wheres humanity?

  • wayne.groenewald.5 - 2012-11-21 10:51

    No different to the ANC doing absolutely nothing about the corruption going on within their ranks.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-21 10:55

    Anc mentality again!!!!

      les.nakin - 2012-11-21 12:06

      This has got nothing to do with anc, but a case of people who do not deserve the uniforms they wear, let's not politise issues that are not political

  • charnelle.bester - 2012-11-21 10:57

    Absolutely disgusting.

  • Boitu.m - 2012-11-21 11:00

    And then government wants to force us to use public health facilities... Couldn't these nurses just help this lady? Isn't that what they're being paid for?! And they only decide to help when the police arrive. What a disgrace.

  • Michael - 2012-11-21 11:03

    They didn't help, because they don't care. They're in it for the pay-check (and to see what supplies they can steal from the store room), not to help people!!!! As if!!!