Seventeen-year-old Refiloe Moloka will never forget the decomposing body of her mother in a hospital bed.
Mapula Moloka, 39, was admitted to the Odi Hospital in Mabopane, North West, on November 9. She had pneumonia and died that night.
Refiloe and her aunt, Mapheso Moloka, went to visit Mapula on Saturday afternoon and were shocked to find her dead.
Moloka said yesterday: "We went to visit her and found her corpse in bed."
Moloko said the body had begun to smell.
"Nurses said she died on Saturday morning but we later discovered she died on Thursday."
The aunt said Refiloe is having difficulty coming to terms with the ordeal.
"No child should have to see her mother like that."
Moloko said the corpse was in such a bad state that the staff at a private mortuary storing the body said that the family might not be able to hold an overnight vigil.
This has deepened their pain.
A family member said: "Her friends and family won't be able to pay their final respects due to the hospital's negligence."
The hospital declined to comment and referred Sowetan to North West's Health Department.
Spokesman Lesiba Molala said yesterday: "The allegations against the hospital are unfounded and untrue. We are satisfied the hospital is not at fault."
But Molala confirmed that Mapula died on Thursday.
"If the family wants to take the matter further they can do so," Molala said.