The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo says a baby girl born outside the Madimbo Clinic last week has died.
According to the baby’s parents and witnesses who were outside the clinic at the time of the birth, the baby fell onto the ground during the birthing process.
The mother had arrived at the clinic, which is meant to operate on a 24-hour basis, during the early hours of the morning.
Nurses on duty inside the facility were apparently sleeping.
The mother was made to wait during the labour process outside the locked gate. She was told by staff that they would only attend to her at 7am when they opened the clinic.
When the clinic eventually opened, the mother and child were examined.
Both were declared healthy and were transferred to Donald Fraser Hospital, about 90km away.
The baby died the following day and now the distraught parents are blaming staff at the Madimbo Clinic for the infant’s death.
The DA has now filed a charge of culpable homicide against the nurses and a charge of criminal negligence against the Limpopo department of health at Musina police station.
“We are determined to ensure a transparent investigation and accountability for the uncaring manner in which the mother was treated,” said the party’s Risham Maharaj.
“There should have never been a scenario in which a pregnant mother is denied entry, and a baby is born outside the gates of a clinic that is meant to be operational.”
The pavement birth sent shockwaves throughout the province and beyond, with many questioning the management of the clinic.
Last Thursday, the department confirmed it had suspended a nurse at the clinic who was supposed to have tended to the mother when she arrived.
At the time, departmental spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said: “Nurses working at the facility sleep at the clinic and when a patient presents to the facility with an emergency, they were expected to wake up and assist them.”
“The department has sent a team to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the occurrence of this incident.”
He could not be reached for comment on the baby’s death.