Health department wants more time to investigate baby Latoya’s death

3 January 2017. Nontombi Gwam the mother of Letoya, the three year old child who died in an ambulance, becomes emotional during talks at a press conference on the incident In Daveyton, Ekurhuleni. The toddler was being transported from Incredible Happenings Ministry where Pastor Mboro was giving a service.
3 January 2017. Nontombi Gwam the mother of Letoya, the three year old child who died in an ambulance, becomes emotional during talks at a press conference on the incident In Daveyton, Ekurhuleni. The toddler was being transported from Incredible Happenings Ministry where Pastor Mboro was giving a service.
Image: Alaister Russell

Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa has requested more time for her department to investigate the death of baby Latoya‚ who died in December after having been at Prophet Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng’s church.

“Based on the internal investigations‚ we are just asking for more time from the portfolio committee just for us to conclude the investigations. The EMS services are provided on our behalf by the Ekurhuleni municipality. They have sent reports.

“Once the preliminary report has been concluded‚ it is going to be presented to the independent patient safety committee…and we will give a report‚” Ramokgopa appealed to Gauteng portfolio committee on health on Tuesday.

Baby Latoya died on Christmas Eve after being prayed for at Mboro’s church in Katlehong.

Mboro has disputed that the child died in his church and says the death happened in the ambulance as paramedics were departing for the hospital.

Despite requesting time for this matter to be investigated‚ Richard Lebethe‚ deputy director-general of clinical services in the department‚ explained to the committee what the department has found out at this stage.

“This child was sick with vomiting and diarrhoea. The child went to Daveyton clinic and apparently at the clinic the mother became impatient and ended leaving the clinic without the child being seen [by medical staff].

“In leaving the clinic‚ the mother went to see the general practitioner who apparently put the child on a drip and released the child home. The child did not go to hospital. The following day‚ the child ended up in Mboro’s church where the child was supposed to be prayed for.

“During the praying the child seemed very weak and compromised. At this stage‚ EMS Ekurhuleni was called. Apparently at the time the EMS arrived‚ the child was already lifeless. It seems as if there was already panic in the church. The members of the EMS‚ when they arrived‚ wanted to assess the child but what happened is that the members of the church insisted that the child be picked up and taken to hospital. Tempers ran high‚ arguments ensued between EMS and church members.

“It is alleged that some of the church members assaulted some of the EMS members. When they arrived at the ambulance [with the child] it is in there that the child was declared dead‚” Lebethe said.

The Gauteng portfolio committee on health had requested the department to brief it as the matter had made headlines across the country with allegations that the conduct of the EMS personnel was questionable.

The committee agreed to allow the department to conclude the investigations.

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