Home South Africa News Mom allegedly given wrong dead child at hospital

Mom allegedly given wrong dead child at hospital

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A 25-year-old Daveyton woman, Zizipho Ranuga, prematurely gave birth in April, but when she was told that her newborn child had died in the hospital a few weeks later, she was given the body of a baby who could have already been eight months old.

This is part of the mystery facing Ranuga who is convinced that she was given the body of a child she suspects is not hers by the Far East Rand Hospital in Springs, Ekurhuleni.

Ranuga is now pinning her hopes on the DNA test to be conducted after the body’s exhumation was granted on July 30 by the South Gauteng High Court. She approached the court on an urgent basis to force national police commissioner Khehla Sitole to exhume the body.

The court ordered that Sitole should ensure that the exhumation takes place within five days of the order and for a DNA test to be conducted to ascertain that the baby was Ranuga’s son.

Ranuga claims that nurses at the hospital coerced her to accept that her baby died three weeks after he was born.

On July 30, acting Judge GT Avvakoumides further ordered Sitole to coordinate and take necessary steps to conduct DNA tests of the remains exhumed from the aforementioned grave to establish whether they are the remains of Ramuga’s baby.

The court ordered that this should take place within 15 days after the exhumation.

The order stated: “Should the remains prove that the baby buried is not the biological child of Ranuga, the national commissioner should ensure that a missing baby’s report is registered and that the baby is located while also investigating the circumstances surrounding the deceased baby.”

But the exhumation has not happened, adding to Ranuga’s frustration.

National police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo did not respond to questions sent on Tuesday.

Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana: “A meeting was held with the police, mortuary attendant and the nurse who made a call to the Daveyton police station.The outcome of the meeting revealed that the institution had followed all the processes in terms of notifying the family and removing the body from the mortuary,” Kekana said. She said staff members involved in the matter submitted written statements to the police about the incident.

“Ms Ranuga opened a case with the SAPS against the institution. The National Prosecuting Authority investigated the matter and the matter was withdrawn because of lack of evidence,” Kekana said.

“The baby was provided with oxygen because he had underdeveloped lungs. I was discharged from the hospital about a week after giving birth and visited my son often,” Ranuga said.

“On May 4, I went back to the hospital to visit my son and deliver breast milk. The nurse on duty pretended to be surprised that my son was not at the ward; then I was told my son was missing.”

A frantic search for the baby ensued and the nurse went into different wards looking for her son. “Another nurse came and said my son is similar to a baby who died on Friday May 1, and instructed me to go to the mortuary,” Ranuga said.

She said she was later told by a doctor that the child who died on May 1 from a brain problem, but said she was not told about this before.

Ranuga said she then received a voicenote on WhatsApp from Siphiwe Mahlangu who had also given birth at the same hospital, telling her that her child had been moved to an isolation ward.

Mahlangu yesterday said she was not comfortable commenting further on the matter and that she has been getting calls from Ranuga’s lawyer and the police.

Ranuga is heading back to court next week to seek redress.

-Sowetan

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