Independent medical experts have been called in by the Gauteng Department of Health to investigate the disappearance of premature newborn twins at Mamelodi Hospital.
Professor Yusuf Veriava is head of the investigative committee established by provincial MEC for Health Gwen Ramokgopa to probe the matter, nearly two years later.
Nompumelelo Sibiya gave birth to a girl and a boy after she was allegedly left alone in the hospital’s maternity ward on May 19, 2016.
Sibiya, 28, struggled to hold back her tears as Ramokgopa briefed the family from Ekangala near Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria, about processes that would unfold in the quest to find answers about what happened to the twins.
“I can see tears streaming down your face, I can tell that this is still very fresh and traumatic to you,” the MEC said.
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On March 12, The Star reported about Sibiya’s frustration and painful search for answers about her babies.
She claimed she was bleeding profusely and was sworn at by the nurses on duty. Sibiya said that after she gave birth, her babies were breathing and she took pictures of them.
The nurses came back minutes later and took the twins away. One of the nurses is alleged to have told Sibiya that they would not survive and refused to put them in an incubator.
Sibiya never saw her twins again and was told they had died. At that moment, she was made to sign a form consenting to “the incineration of the babies”.
She believes her babies are still alive.
“I am here to introduce Professor Veriava, who will be leading an independent team of experts to review the whole case, including how the nurses’ council (SA Council of Nurses) dealt with this matter,” Ramokgopa said.
Sibiya had lodged a complaint with the council, which said there was no evidence she had been neglected by the nurses.
Ramokgopa said the department would be able to investigate how Sibiya was assisted not only at the hospital but also at Dark City Clinic, where she was rushed to after she experienced labour pains on the day.
Ramokgopa said the family did not have a positive experience at the hospital and there was a “need to strengthen mechanisms to ensure a positive patient experience”.
A relative, Patricia Jwara, said they were happy with the steps being taken.
“We need answers. We want to know where are those kids. If they are buried or, as they said, they are burnt, we want to go and see where they are burnt so that we can also support her Two years is too much. The health system is really failing us here,” Jwara said.
Sibiya said: “I have hope that in the end I will find answers. Before The Star published my story, I had no hope, but now I can see where things are going.”