Tembisa Hospital CEO suspended over death of Shonisani Lethole

Shonisani Lethole's parents say the report which showed how their son died at Tembisa Hospital in June last year was overwhelming.
Shonisani Lethole's parents say the report which showed how their son died at Tembisa Hospital in June last year was overwhelming.
Image: #JusticeforShoni/Change.org

Tembisa Hospital CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi has been suspended, the Gauteng department of health announced on Saturday.

This comes after a report released on Wednesday by the health ombud into the death of 34-year-old Shonisani Lethole.

Tembisa hospital CEO Lekopane Mogaladi.
Tembisa hospital CEO Lekopane Mogaladi.
Image: Penwell Dlamini

The ombud found that the care rendered to Lethole at Tembisa Hospital in June last year was not only substandard but negligent.

Lethole died at the hospital on June 30 after testing positive for Covid-19.

But before he died, Lethole took to social media to tell health minister Zweli Mkhize about what he said were deplorable conditions at the hospital. He also claimed he was being starved.

Mkhize lodged a complaint with the health ombudsman, Dr Malegapuru Makgoba, and an investigation was launched. Makgoba found that Lethole was not offered food for a total of 100 hours and 54 minutes.

The report sparked outrage, with many calling for Mogaladi's head.

Health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the notice of suspension was served to Mogaladi on Friday.

“As part of the standard labour practices, the CEO [Dr Lekopane Mogaladi] has been afforded an opportunity to make representations, within five working days of receipt of the notice, regarding the intention to place him on precautionary suspension,” said Kekana.

“The department wishes to reiterate its commitment to implementing the recommendations of the report by the health ombud into the circumstances surrounding the care and death of Mr Shonisani Lethole at Tembisa Hospital within legal prescripts.”

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