HARARE-South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters EFF has called for the revocation of Limpopo MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s medical licence and her removal from office for “humiliating” a Zimbabwean patient awaiting surgery, in an incident recorded and shared on social media.
A video widely shared on social media, shows Ramathuba scolding an unidentified patient seeking surgery at Bela Bela hospital in Limpopo province, South Africa.
“You’re supposed to be with Mnangagwa, he doesn’t give me money to operate you guys. Now I must operate you with my limited budget,” she said drawing laughs to a small audience.
The viral clip has drawn mixed reactions but in a statement ,EFF said Ramathuba’s rant inflame growing Afrophic sentiments where South Africa seeks to remove thousands of special permit holders by December.
Already the South African government has since refused to renew permits for close to 200,000 Zimbabweans which are due to expire at the end of the year.
“The EFF in Limpopo condemns the conduct of Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba at Bela Bela hospital with the contempt it deserves,” reads the statement.
EFF said the Ramathuba’s sentiments violates patient confidentiality and dignity.
“Why even address people in their dying bed about budgets and political limitations of health care,” further reads the statement.
“We call for the revocation of her license as a professional doctor for undermining the costs of ethics for medical doctors and trying to enforce a dompas system in Limpopo hospitals.”
Zimbabweans seeking health care have flooded South African hospitals as local health services continue to collapse without basic drugs and hospital equipment.
Expecting mothers have also risked long journeys across Limpopo for safe delivery in South Africa.
According to Ramathuba, South Africa’s health care system is treating more foreigners than locals.
“I am going to tell you something that is truthful and painful,” she says.
“You know Stats SA goes to count people during census and tell that in Limpopo you have 5,7 million people, and tell me that out of 5,7 million 91 % do not have medical aid.
“They are dependent on the State and only nine percent depend on private doctors.”
She continued; “Now I’m here, instead of using the budget for what it’s meant for I’m operating for what Mnangagwa is supposed to do.
“That is why when my people of Limpopo want health services, they can’t get it and that is angering the community.
“… you are not even registered anyway; you are not counted. You are even illegal and you are abusing me. This is unfair.”
In the video a woman is heard responding in a sickly voice saying: “thank you so much, I appreciate,”
“You are killing my health system,” Ramathuba responds.
“When you guys are sick I hear you just say – let’s cross Limpopo, there is an MEC there who is running a charity department but this is not a charity department.”
Her sentiments have drawn widespread debate with critics blaming President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government for failing to provide basic health care for citizens.