Family wants to know why woman died after leg op

Granny Madikoe died in Mokopane Hospital in Limpopo after a leg operation. /Supplied
Granny Madikoe died in Mokopane Hospital in Limpopo after a leg operation. /Supplied

The family of a woman who died at a Limpopo hospital six weeks after being admitted with a broken leg are demanding answers.

Granny Madikoe, 48, underwent a leg operation at Mokopane Provincial Hospital last week but died two days later.

Madikoe's younger sister Desmy blamed the hospital's long waiting period before the operation for her sister's death.

She said the hospital failed to give her sister proper medication during her wait.

Madikoe, who worked as a cashier at a local restaurant, was hit by a taxi while crossing a busy street in March.

"On the same day of the accident she was admitted at Voortrekker Hospital, where they plastered her fractured leg," Desmy said.

"She waited for six weeks to undergo the operation because they told us there was no bed for her at Mokopane Hospital."

Desmy said Madikoe was transferred to Mokopane Hospital on May 10.

"We want this negligence to stop now. The department of health must come and explain how can someone admitted for a broken leg end up dying. It does not make sense. Even the doctor said her death was strange," she said.

Madikoe died a day after she turned 48. 

Health department spokesman Neil Shikwambana said the reason Madikoe waited a long time for her operation was because it was not urgent.

"We did our medical assessment and we found that operating was not urgent, therefore we would plaster her leg.

"We have a serious shortage of orthopedic surgeons in the province, which is the main cause for long waits," he said.

Shikwambana said they also found that Madikoe had another illness.

"We are waiting for the postmortem results to know the cause of her death. We would like to send our deepest condolences to the family," he said.

Madikoe's husband July Mamashela, a local farm worker, said he was angry about the way his wife was treated.

"If they had operated on her on time she would still be alive. Now, because of their negligence I'm left with the responsibility of taking care of the family alone.

"I want whoever is found to have not done their job to be punished," he said.