Joburg hospital adds more woe to grieving mom's bid to bury daughter

Last week, Nqobile Dube rushed her critically ill daughter, Sichelesile, to the state-run facility but she passed away while sitting in a wheelchair and her mother said that none of the medical staff seemed to notice until she made them aware the next day.

Nqobile Dube said that her daughter was ignored by nurses at the Helen Joseph Hospital and a doctor even told her that due to the number of COVID-19 patients the facility was under pressure. Picture: Screengrab

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg mother who found her daughter's lifeless body in the same spot at the Helen Joseph Hospital waiting area more then 24 hours after she sought help, said that she could not bury her child in line with cultural custom until the facility returned her clothing.

Last week, Nqobile Dube rushed her critically ill daughter, Sichelesile, to the state-run facility but she passed away while sitting in a wheelchair and her mother said that none of the medical staff seemed to notice until she made them aware the next day.

Dube was hoping to bury her daughter on Friday but in line with her cultural beliefs, Sichelesile must be buried in the clothes that she died in and the hospital seems to have lost them.

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After more than a week of silence from the Gauteng Health Department and the Helen Joseph Hospital, Dube has now been called to a meeting on Wednesday morning with a representative of the hospital.

Dube said that she wanted a proper explanation for what's happened to her daughter, not only for herself but also to prevent other families from going through the same trauma in future.

"They said they want to apologise, but it's not enough. If they haven't found my daughter's clothing, I don't think I'd be able to forgive them," Dube said.

Last week, Dube was taken to a a room at the hospital and told to look through a pile of clothing, but she couldn't find her daughter's belongings.

Dube said that burying her daughter without these garments would be disrespectful to her family and ancestors.

"It is disrespect because in my culture we do that. I will be the first one in my family to do that," Dube said.

Just three weeks ago, Dube also lost her partner, Sichelesile's father, in a car crash in Zimbabwe.

While she desperately fights to give her daughter a dignified burial, the missing clothing issue is sure to rub more salt into her already painful wounds.

VIDEO: Mother weeps after finding daughter dead in hospital waiting room

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