Infant follows mom in death

Alex Matlala

A Limpopo baby whose mother died in an accident in an ambulance while on the way to hospital two weeks ago died yesterday.

The two-week-old baby, who had been in hospital since its mother's death, died in the Polokwane Provincial Hospital.

Phalaborwa police spokesman Chris Nel said the driver of the ambulance was ferrying the woman, who had just given birth at Maphutha-Malatji Hospital in Namakgale Township, when the accident happened.

Nel said the driver was trying to avoid hitting a kudu when the ambulance plunged into a tree, killing the woman instantly. The driver of the ambulance and his assistant sustained facial and leg injuries while the two-hour-old baby escaped unhurt.

The driver and his assistant were admitted to Maphutha-Malatji Hospital and released a few days later while the baby was transferred to Polokwane Provincial Hospital.

A source in Emergency Services says the driver, Billy Kgaswana, was "drunk".

"He'd been drinking the whole day and was still drunk when he started the shift," said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

Kgaswana has admitted that he is romantically involved with his assistant driver but denied that he was speeding, kissing her or drunk when the accident happened.

Provincial spokesman for the department of health and social development Phuti Seloba said the department was investigating the accident.

"If anyone is found guilty of any negligence, heads will roll," he said