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Hospital takes 45 days to inform family of teenager’s death

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Rene Andrews

An Eldorado Park is seeking answers after it took Helen Joseph Hospital 45 days to inform them of the death of their daughter 15-year-old Rene Andrews.

The teenager, who had Down syndrome, was admitted on August 9 after being diagnosed as having water in her lungs.

Gauteng Health Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana confirmed that Rene was a patient at Helen Joseph Hospital and passed away on August 27.

The teenager’s parents Colin and Jasmine Andrews found out on October 10 that their child died about six weeks ago when they went to deliver a care package for her.

According to the statement issued by the Caitlin Douman Foundation on behalf of the family, due to Covid19 hospital regulations, Rene was not allowed visitors.

However, her parents called the hospital to be updated on her condition on a regular basis. The parents were assured that their daughter was doing fine.

On the evening of October 9, the family arrived at the hospital to drop off a care package for Rene but we were told that there was nobody of her name in the hospital. The following day the parents and a family friend returned to the hospital near Auckland Park and were informed after a long wait that their daughter had died on August 27. The cause of death was pneumonia.

Kekana said the department has lodged an investigation. “The Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo has since directed the department to conduct an investigation into Rene’s case. He has deployed a senior team of officials to meet with the family,” she said.

Family spokesperson and Caitlin Douman Foundation director Charis Pretorius said: “The family is still grappling with trying to make sense of it all. Jasmine is really not coping. She is struggling to come to terms with all of this. It is very, very difficult for her.”

Pretorius accompanied the family to identify Rene’s body on Monday. While describing the gruesome state the family found her body in, Pretorius told The Star that because she was in the mortuary for so long she had some discolouration on her face.

“She had been in the mortuary for so long that there was major discolouration on her face. She had gone blue already. Her skin is actually peeling at the moment. We have been advised by the undertakers that there is no way that we can have a viewing at the funeral tomorrow (today) because of the unfortunate condition she is in,” Pretorius said.

She added that Rene’s older sister, who is in Grade 12, has not been able to attend school as she was struggling with what happened to her sister.

“They are really struggling. Colin, the father, is trying to keep it altogether but you can see that he is struggling too.”

“It’s really hard on them at the moment we are just hoping we will be able to provide them with the necessary counselling as of next week so that they too can start processing and work through what they are dealing with,” Pretorius added.

Mamabolo extended words of condolences to Rene’s family for their loss.

“It is never easy to lose a loved one, especially if that loved one is a young person who still had their future ahead of them. The investigation into the handling of Rene’s case should help us to improve patients’ experience of care,” he said.

The 15-year-old’s funeral will take place in Eldorado Park.

Meanwhile, the hospital has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this year.

In May, its support staff protested outside the facility asking to be tested for Covid-19, among other requests, after numerous nurses tested positive for the virus.

In July, it was reported that staff and patients had no water for a few days because of a fault with internal pipes. For about three days, patients were unable to bath or wash their hands

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani dlomo

Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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