Sick man fired, dies

BADLY TREATED: John Mdungwazi Chauke. 11/11/08. © Unknown.
BADLY TREATED: John Mdungwazi Chauke. 11/11/08. © Unknown.

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

A hospital employee who had been seriously ill for some time died a few days after he was visited at home by his supervisors who dismissed him.

John Mdungwazi Chauke of Muswane village outside Giyani was handed a letter as he lay in his sick bed telling him he had been fired because he was absent without leave.

His family is now up in arms against the Malamulele Hosptial management. They claim that the hospitals harsh treatment speeded up Chauke's decline.

Chauke had worked for the hospital's laundry since early this year after he was transferred from the Polokwane Hospital, where he worked for five years.

Chauke's brother, Morris Mabasa, said two hospital officials, who are known to the family, visited the ill man and told him to sign a letter.

"I was at home when they visited and they said he was being dismissed because the hospital was not in possession of his latest medical report, though they had previous reports indicating that he was ill," said Mabasa.

Mabasa said after his brother received the letter his condition deteriorated and he died.

"When my brother refused to sign the letter they asked me to sign and I also refused. After that they said the dismissal would be effective even if nobody signed."

Sowetan is in possession of the letter that states that Chauke was being fired because he was guilty of misconduct as he was absent from work without a valid reason.

He was given five days in which to launch an appeal but was unable to do so because of his poor health.

Chauke was laid to rest on Saturday.

"If it happened it's inhumanity of unimaginable proportions," said Phuti Seloba, spokesman for the provincial department of health. "If it is found our officials were involved, heads will roll."