Residents of Morapalala in Bolobedu, north of Tzaneen in Limpopo, are fuming because of a male nurse at the local clinic who allegedly refuses to help patients.
The nurse is accused of also spending time sleeping at the nurse's home.
They say the nurse's action causes untold harm to them because the clinic is supposed to bring relief to the local people. As a result, residents are forced to travel long distances to other clinics to get medical attention.
They accuse the nurse, whose name is known to Sowetan, of turning back patients who visit the clinic without attending to them.
Nurses at the clinic, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Sowetan their colleague only comes to the clinic to sign the attendance register and leaves, while inexperienced junior nurses do his work.
"He sometimes leaves the clinic and goes out to do his private business or shopping during working hours without informing us," says one nurse. They say he also refuses to attend to emergency calls when approached by security officers manning the gate at night.
"I am not going to be disturbed by you (security) because you don't pay my salary," a security guard quotes the nurse.
During a community meeting held at a local tribal court at the weekend, unhappy members of the community demanded that the department should fire the truant nurse or transfer him elsewhere before he causes a lot of damage. The residents called for an immediate intervention by the provincial health MEC Seaparo Sekoati in the matter.
Provincial health spokesman Phuti Seloba says the department was not aware of the problem, but will investigate.