baby born at hospital gate

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

A nurse allegedly watched - and hurled insults - while a woman gave birth at the gate of a government hospital.

About two minutes earlier the same nurse had refused to provide a wheelchair to the heavily pregnant woman after her water had broken.

"My sister Sibongile was crying because of the terrible labour pains, but the nurse told us there were no wheelchairs," Kedibone Marabe of Dresden village near Burgersfort in Limpopo said yesterday.

Marabe said the family phoned for an ambulance at about 10pm on April 8 so her sister could be taken to the Dilokong Hospital.

"We waited for a long time and then decided to get alternative transport. We were worried because we realised the baby could arrive at any moment," Marabe said.

"Fortunately we found someone with a car who rushed her to hospital.

"When we got to the hospital it became clear that Sibongile could not walk to the entrance.

"We asked for a wheelchair but he nurse told us there were no wheelchairs and refused to help us walk Sibongile in.

"The worst thing was that she was not only uncooperative but hurled all sorts of insults at while we were busy helping my younger sister get to the hospital.

"We were only about five metres from the car when her water suddenly broke and she ultimately gave birth outside the hospital's premises."

The bouncing baby girl, aptly named Pholoso - meaning saved - arrived at about 11.50pm.

"I was forced to clean the blood on the floor after the baby was born but I am quite happy," Marabe said.

"It is only through the grace of God that the baby is alive and healthy."

Sibongile, 25, was giving birth to her third child.

Provincial department of health spokesman Phuti Seloba, who expressed shock at hearing of the treatment meted out to Sibongile, said they would "rid the department of such inhumane people".

"We are going to do everything in our power to ensure that those who turn the department into a laughing stock are turned into crying stock themselves," Seloba said.