Man dies on donkey cart while waiting for ambulance

Authorities collect Lucky Lebese's body after he died in a donkey cart.
Authorities collect Lucky Lebese's body after he died in a donkey cart.
Image: Tiro Ramatlhatse

A North West family had to stay with a dead corpse for eight hours in a donkey cart on the street as they waited for an ambulance and the police to arrive.

Lucky Lebese from Madibe Makgabane village outside Mahikeng was stabbed at 1am yesterday. The family called an ambulance, but after 30 minutes of waiting, Lebese asked his brother Thabo and his girlfriend Mammy Makolomakwa to take a donkey cart and drive him to the nearest hospital about 25km away.

While on the way to the hospital, he became weak and died. His brother said they then stopped because they did not know what to do.

"We had already driven for 15km and we were left with an extra 10km to arrive at the hospital. We tried calling the ambulance again. We also called the police who said we must wait for them to come," Thabo said.

He said they had tried to keep him awake by wrapping him with a blanket to keep him warm.

"I did not want to believe that he was dying, I could hear his voice was becoming weak and he was no longer talking a lot with us, but I believed that he was going to make it," he said.

Lesebe's aunt, Keneilwe Seleka, said they did not have money for transport.

"We did not have money to book a bakkie, we knew that the donkey cart was going to be too slow, but we could see that he was losing blood and we needed to act fast," she said.

The family said if the local clinic operated at night, the nurses could have been able to save Lebese's life.

The North West department of health has been in the news for poor service delivery and ambulances that don't arrive on time, especially in rural areas.

Spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said they would investigate why the ambulance had failed to come in time. "We will provide a report once the investigation is concluded," he said.

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