Protests erupt in Newcastle after boy dies in freak accident

2019-01-22 16:59
Some clinics do not operate 24-hours and Madadeni Hospital is used for emergencies, says Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Supplied)

Some clinics do not operate 24-hours and Madadeni Hospital is used for emergencies, says Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Supplied)

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The Madadeni community erupted in protest on Tuesday morning after a six-year-old boy died while playing at a local park, police said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said a group gathered outside the local clinic, burning tyres and other objects.

He said residents felt that if the local clinic had been opened, the boy could have been saved.

"It is alleged that the child was playing at the park when he allegedly fell on a steel pipe. He later died of his injuries. The local community complained that, if the local clinic was opened, the child would have been saved."

He said that, thus far, there had been no damages or injuries as a result of the protest.

"Police are monitoring the situation."

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said that residents were aware that the clinic closed at 18:00.

READ: Missing child sparks protests on R55 near Pretoria, causing heavy delays

"We do not have all our clinics open 24-hours. This is one of those that closes in the afternoon. An ambulance came and saw the child had died."

Dhlomo said the Madadeni Hospital was 10 minutes away.

"The community is aware this hospital is used for emergencies and is the next point of service."

He added: "I want our people to resist anger. They know how it works. They routinely use Madadeni Hospital."

DA MPL Imran Keeka visited the site on Tuesday afternoon, after the crowd had already dispersed.

He said there were the remains of burnt tyres, and one of the park's fences had been damaged, but that the clinic had not been damaged.

He said he would meet with the clinic's management to receive an update on the issue.

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Read more on:    sibongiseni dhlomo  |  durban  |  healthcare  |  protests
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