After burial resolved, Joburg mom still in dark over daughter's hospital death

Nqobile Dube met with hospital management on Wednesday but once again, they were unable to give her any explanation as to why no one had noticed that her daughter had died in the waiting area.

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 Joburg mother whose daughter died while waiting for medical assistance at the Helen Joseph Hospital is now at least able to give her child a dignified burial after the facility finally returned her belongings.

Nqobile Dube took her seriously ill daughter, Sichelesile, to the facility last week.

The 26-year-old was put in a wheelchair and told to wait for help but the next afternoon, when Dube returned, she discovered her daughter's lifeless body in the exact same spot.

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Dube met with hospital management on Wednesday but once again, they were unable to give her any explanation as to why no one had noticed her daughter had died in the waiting area.

Nqobile Dube arrived at the Helen Joseph Hospital on Wednesday hoping to get some honest answers, and maybe even some closure, before she travels to Zimbabwe to bury her daughter this weekend.

When she arrived in the meeting room, she said that hospital managers apologised for taking so long to find the clothes Sichelesile died in, which she must be buried in, according to cultural custom.

Dube said that she asked them several times why staff ignored her and her daughter and blamed COVID-19 for the high volume of patients.

But she said, again, that no one answered her questions.

"They just said we are apologising for what happened and said that the sisters that were on duty that day are not here, they are off. Then I was asking myself 'how come they are all off?' and I even asked them that and told them that what they did was wrong," Dube said.

Dube said that the hospital acknowledged that she had the right to take legal action against the state-owned facility and sue them for negligence.

With no money for that, she's now in the process of lodging a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

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

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