It is worrisome that xenophobia has got to a point in South Africa where a public servant thinks it’s acceptable to blame an injured person for whatever diplomatic decisions her party, the ANC, has taken over the past 20 years.
Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba should face censure from Premier Stanley Mathabatha for her shocking outburst against a Zimbabwean patient at Bela Bela Hospital.
Whatever legitimacy there may be to some of Ramathuba’s frustrations and arguments, taking out her frustration on an injured, sick person in a hospital bed, irrespective of their nationality, is inhumane and unacceptable. It defies the Constitution and Bill of Human Rights.
It is extremely worrisome that xenophobia has reached these levels in South Africa where a public servant thinks it’s acceptable to blame an injured person for whatever diplomatic decisions her party, the ANC, has taken over the past 20 years.
WATCH | ‘You are killing my health system’: Limpopo MEC under fire over comments on Zimbabweans
Ramathuba’s words to the patient, “You are killing my health system”, are vulgar and untrue.
Foreigners, legal and illegal, documented and undocumented, are fast becoming the ANC’s false bogeyman on which to blame all the country’s ills. This cannot be further from the truth and should be called out every time.
The state of the Limpopo health department has got very little to do with the amount of Zimbabwean nationals that receive treatment, but everything to do with corruption, incompetence and financial irregularities.
READ | SIU launches probe into alleged corruption in Limpopo over waste management tenders
In March the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) launched an investigation into Ramathuba’s department for alleged corruption and maladministration with the awarding of waste management tenders. This has nothing to do with foreigners.
The Auditor-General has highlighted Limpopo health as a high-risk department for medical negligence claims. The department is currently facing claims close to R14 billion for alleged negligence by medical practitioners in the province. This has nothing to do with foreigners.
DA spokesperson Risham Maharaj identified critical staff shortages and equipment, lack of professionalism, incompetence, lost records and missed diagnosis as the cause of the department’s problems. Not the amount of foreign patients.
South Africans will see right through Ramathuba’s theatrics and false scapegoating. She and many of her colleagues in the ANC have decided that xenophobia is their most effective diversion tool from the party’s own governance failures.
They will not be allowed to get away with these lies.