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Patients at a private hospital claim that they have to wait for more than two days to see a doctor.
They also claim that they have to provide their own blankets once they are admitted.
Some patients said they slept on the floor because of the shortage of beds.
A Sowetan investigation at Matikwana Hospital in Mkhuhlu, Mpumalanga, found blood-stained curtains, unflushed toilets and dirty linen scattered on the floor.
A nursing sister in ward 4 instructed hospital security to send the reporter away to stop him from taking pictures.
"You can't take pictures of this dirt because you are going to expose us to the world," said the unidentified sister.
Ntombi Shabangu, 40, said she was shocked when she visited her terminally ill husband, Rodney, 50, at the hospital because he was sleeping on a blanket on the floor.
"I thought I was dreaming when I saw him lying on the floor. I went home to fetch a sponge as well as some blankets to save the situation," she said.
Shabangu's niece, Dumizwe Nkuna, 21, a first year student at the University of Limpopo who wants to be a social worker, said what she saw at the hospital was "pathetic".
"I was so angry that I even took some pictures of the patients but security guards chased me with the intention of destroying my camera.
"I had to scale the hospital fence and got injured," said Nkuna.
Shabangu was unable to talk because of the seriousness of his sickness but gestured with his hands indicating that he was not satisfied with something.
Gerrit van den Berg, the executive regional manager for the hospitals, Matikwana and Shilubane in Limpopo and SiyaThuthuka in Belfast, said they were not aware of the situation.
"We were definitely not aware of the situation but you have opened our eyes and we shall conduct investigations immediately," said Van den Berg.
The three hospitals are part of a string of hospitals owned by Life Healthcare whose motto is: "Dedication to well-being and quality of life; Clinical excellence in world class facilities; and Quality service, respect and a spirit of giving to those entrusted to our care".