Minister plays hide and seek

IN DENIAL: Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 16/10/07. © Sowetan.
IN DENIAL: Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 16/10/07. © Sowetan.

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's private life took centre stage yesterday during a press conference at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital.

Tshabalala-Msimang was at the hospital to deliver cribs for newborn babies, but was forced to dodge questions about the imminent arrest of Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya and deputy managing editor Jocelyn Maker.

Makhanya and Maker face arrest for theft of the minister's medical records.

"When the time comes, I will speak out. I will not be pushed into a corner to say things because it is for public consumption," she asserted.

She denied claims that she exerted her influence in the case against the newspaper.

She said she was disturbed by media reports of newborn babies sleeping in cardboard boxes at the hospital because of a shortage of cribs.

"The article and the photographs of three babies placed in a cardboard box were very disturbing as they directly contradicted what we stand for as the Department of Health," she said.

Seventy-four cribs have been delivered to the hospital since it was put under the spotlight two weeks ago.

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