Shonisani Lethole's death: Tembisa Hospital CEO appeals suspension, health ombudsman's report

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Tembisa Hospital.
Tembisa Hospital.
Gallo images/OJ Koloti
  • Tembisa Hospital CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi is challenging both his notice of precautionary suspension and the scathing report into the death of Shonisani Lethole.
  • The Gauteng health department served Mogaladi with a notice to suspend him following a report by Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.
  • Mogaladi has written to the department explaining why there is no rational cause for disciplinary action against him.

Tembisa Hospital CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi is appealing the Gauteng health department's intention to place him on precautionary suspension.

He is also challenging the scathing findings against him by Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba over the death of Shonisani Lethole.

The department announced in January it had served Mogaladi with a notice of precautionary suspension following the damning report.

The notice came after Makgoba's report into the death of Lethole at the hospital in June last year.

In his findings, Makgoba concluded the hospital was negligent in its treatment of Lethole.

Lethole died at the hospital after being starved of food for more than 100 hours.

His death was inaccurately recorded and he died without knowing his Covid-19 status.

Makhoba found the hospital had effectively left Lethole to die and failed to resuscitate him.

The hospital was also found to be untruthful and had provided incomplete information to Makgoba.

The Brand Thread Public Relations company, which is representing Mogaladi, said: "After careful deliberations with his legal team, Mogaladi has exercised his legal right to challenge the department's intention to place him under suspension."

READ | Tembisa Hospital hit by more claims of ill treatment in wake of report on Shonisani Lethole's death

His legal team has served Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, Makgoba and the department with appeal papers regarding the report into the Lethole's death.

"Mogaladi has made written representations to the department explaining why there is no rational cause for the department to proceed with disciplinary action against him.

Shonisani Lethole
Shonisani Lethole.

"The department had proceeded to serve Dr Mogaladi with the notice of suspension despite a letter from his legal team warning them not rush into taking such decisions against him based on the recommendations of this unfounded report.

"Furthermore, it makes absolutely no sense why the department would rush to take such action despite being informed of his intention to appeal the report," the company said.

It added it was shocked the department had appointed someone to act in Mogaladi's position as hospital CEO as this reflected bias and a disregard for lawful processes.

"Appointing an interim CEO without considering Mogaladi's representation shows that the department had already made up its mind about suspending him. This is unfair and against the labour laws of South Africa.

"In his handling of the matter, the Ombudsman disregarded evidence and failed to afford the CEO an opportunity to make representations as prescribed by law. The findings of the report, insofar as they relate to Mogaladi, should be set aside.

"Mogaladi remains resolute in his mission to set the record straight by upholding the truth through legal channels. The report by Makgoba made irrational findings that could not be substantiated through evidence, thus subjecting him to unfairness," the PR company said.

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