The 'avoidable and preventable' death of the young entrepreneur who suffered 'appalling' treatment at the hospital is not an isolated case. The tragedy is being used to galvanise the struggle, through the #JusticeForShoni campaign, to fix a broken healthcare system.
"Shoni had a strong character. He was humble and strong-willed." This is how Patricia Lethole, mother of 34-year-old entrepreneur Shonisani Lethole, described him recently. She lamented the loss of her son, who died from Covid-19-related complications at Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital on Gauteng's East Rand on 30 June 2020, and expressed her sorrow about what his untimely death meant for the family's future generations.
Despite denial by Dr Lekopane Mogaladi, the hospital's CEO, an investigation by the Health Ombudsman revealed that Lethole's death was "avoidable and preventable".
Lethole had been referred to Tembisa Hospital by the Kempton Park Clinic on 23 June 2020 with chest pain, difficulty breathing and general weakness. He was not given the urgent medical intervention his condition required. He was not given any meals for more than 100 hours and was denied a wheelchair to get to the toilet. Had senior doctors and staff acted according to healthcare guidelines - or at the very least with...