Long wait to know if buried child was hers is all in vain

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

Nobuhle Ndlebe's year-long wait for DNA results to prove whether a child, who was buried in KwaZulu-Natal, is hers has been in vain.

After waiting since October 2005 to bury her twin babies, the final blow for Ndlebe came when the Gauteng Health Department told her last week that tests could not determine if the child was hers.

A report by the National Health Laboratory Service reads: "We have been unable to obtain a DNA profile from the bone sample. We think that our failure resulted from the fact that the bone had no outer layer that would have protected the DNA from degradation by micro- organisms"

This is scant consolation for Ndlebe, who could have buried her children long ago were it not for a mix-up at Natalspruit Hospital in October 2005, which led to one of the twins, Lindokuhle, being given to a family in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal.

Ndlebe's mourning would have long been over had the Health Department kept its promise in November to speed up the process and guarantee that she would have the results within two weeks.

Ndlebe, a cleaner at a packaging company in Germiston, had to wait for almost three months and is still no closer to knowing the truth about her child.

Sowetan spoke to the grief-stricken mother yesterday, and she said: "I have prayed for this nightmare to end for so many nights.

"After waiting for so long to be told that the tests cannot prove anything is just too much for me."

Health spokesman Modise Makhudu said yesterday the department would give Ndlebe "space to decide what to do".