A 52-year-old Kimberley man died while waiting over four hours for an ambulance to transport him for medical attention on Monday morning.
The man’s niece, Elizabeth Manogwe, believes that her uncle would still be alive had the ambulance arrived sooner.
“He was still walking and breathing when he came into my house yesterday morning. The family will be claiming for negligence,” said Manogwe yesterday.
She added that her uncle, Nico Erasmus, was up to date with his treatment for tuberculosis.
She explained that her uncle walked a short distance from his flat to her home in Lerato Park as the ambulance was delayed.
“I made the first call for help at 6.30am. I called again at 9am, again at 9.21am, then at 9.35am, 10.26am and once again at 10.28am and shortly before 11am when he passed away. They kept on telling me to be patient as the ambulance was busy collecting patients. We had to wait until our loved one died before the ambulance arrived.”
Erasmus collapsed on Manogwe’s couch, where he remained for more than an hour following his death.
“I wanted to give him some yoghurt while he was waiting but he instead asked for some porridge. I tried to help him to sit up after I noticed that he was struggling to breathe and he wanted to lie down. I thought that we could arrange for transport to the clinic as the ambulance was taking so long.”
Lerato Park ward councillor Paul Kok indicated that the ambulance only arrived at around 12.30pm.
“The funeral parlour transported the body after his death was certified.”
Spokesperson for the provincial Department of Health, Lebogang Majaha, said that the MEC, Fufe Makatong, would immediately assign a team to investigate the matter.
“A report back will be given before the end of the week. The MEC is deeply saddened to have learned about this matter and conveys her sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” said Majaha.