Strike delays tests on twins

STRIKING public sector doctors have delayed the operation set to change the lives of the Mthembu twin sisters of the Ohlalwini area in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal.

The sisters were born with a rare deformity. Bongiwe and Bongekile Mthembu, 15, were born with seven toes on each foot and six fingers on each hand, a rare condition called polydactyl cat deformity.

Their plight was highlighted in Sowetan on Monday.

Their mother Hlaleleni Mpontshane pleaded for help and Good Samaritans responded - among them doctors, Premier Zweli Mkhize, businesspeople and a shoe company in Johannesburg.

Yesterday, the twins went to Ngwavuma Hospital where tests were supposed to have been done before the operation. But they were turned away because of the strike.

"We could not find a doctor as they are on strike. We were told to return on June 30. We are disappointed, but we are grateful that our dream of wearing shoes could be realised," one of the twins said.

On Monday, doctors downed tools at several hospitals throughout the country, including Ngwavuma Hospital where the twins are supposed to be operated on.

l A bank account has been set up to help the Mthembu twins: Hlaleleni Gxalibashe Mpontshane, Absa bank, account number 9227839809.