By Staff Reporter
(Pics by Thomo Nkgadima)
The Limpopo family of a child who died a few hours in hospital after premature birth at home has not yet buried him since his death in 2018.
The baby, named Lefa passed away on March 29, 2018 at Mankweng Regional Hospital, near Polokwane.
A 51-year-old grandmother, Ester Dikotla, said the devastated family has yet to move on, waiting for many years to bury a child’s remains.
The mother of the child, Malebo (18) says she is stressed and depressed, following the prolonged process.
“I had to leave school because I didn’t cope. Sometimes I slept in the neighbor’s apartment to deal with the situation.
“I still have memories of what happened to me at home after I went to the hospital.
“The pain is so unbearable to accept and the agony gets worse each day,” she says.
Malebo’s parents (Ester and David) are eager to bury the remnants of their grandson with dignity and turn the page.
However, another obstacle now is that the family in trouble has no money to bury the child’s remains.
David said it’s very difficult for the family and the traumatized mother who continues to have nightmares.
Malebo went on to say: “I cannot sleep during the night. I cannot stand this anymore. All I want to do is bury his remains, end the mourning and move on.”
The child allegedly died as a result of a so-called bad injection in Malebo when she was six months pregnant during her routine checkup.
“We were told by nurses and a doctor in the hospital that she was not supposed to receive an injection,” Ester said.
The remains were taken to the Lebowakgomo government mortuary after the DNA was conducted through the scientific laboratory in Pretoria.
And post-mortem was conducted to determine the cause of death, but nothing was established, because the remnants had badly decomposed.
The bereaved family says they are concerned about not being allowed to see the remains of their child.
Now they are trying to raise money to bury the remains in a dignified manner as part of their cultural practice.
David said, “Our concern is that in our culture we are not allowed to attend funerals, weddings or events because of the dark cloud in the family. We have to bury the remains and carry out rituals.
“Our family is hopeless and we need closure before we can move forward.”
David said the situation has affected the family psychologically, emotionally and otherwise.
“The child’s mom is now suffering from stress, depression and anxiety. Since that time, she has never gone back to school,” he said.
The devastated family is fighting to sue the Limpopo health department for the pain and suffering suffered.
Alex Reporter hasn’t reached the Limpopo department of health in Limpopo for comment at the time of going to press.