Durban - An uMlazi man with stomach pains seized the opportunity to be examined by a doctor when Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo came knocking during election door-to-door visits by the ANC in the south Durban township on Monday.
Makhonza Ngcobo, 62, who has been in pain from a growth on his stomach that developed after an operation at Umlazi’s Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital last year, told Dhlomo he had received no explanation about the growth.
Dhlomo, who is a medical doctor, lay the man on his sofa and, after examining him, told him he had a hernia.
“Every time I have been to the hospital I was just put on an nebuliser and I have never known what was wrong with me,” Ngcobo said.
He said he had been operated on after suffering from severe stomach pains.
Ngcobo’s wife, Doris Dlamini, said a stench had come from Ngcobo’s operation site afterwards.
“It smelled like tripe, and he couldn’t hold anything in his stomach, even tea. It made our lives difficult because the toilets here are far, and the ones inside don’t work yet,” she said.
Dhlomo, also the ANC’s chairman in eThekwini, wrote the man a doctor’s note addressed to the hospital’s head saying that the man needed to be attended to urgently.
Dhlomo insisted there had been no negligence at the hospital. It was just that “we all heal differently after an operation”.
Earlier, Dhlomo said the informal settlement in Umlazi D section had developed quickly as there was pressure from residents who wanted RDP houses. He said the problem would be addressed soon.
“There has been a significant improvement in uMlazi in terms of development,” he said.
Thulile Hlongwane, who lives with her family in one of the last remaining shacks in the area, said there had been bias in the allocation of RDP houses.
“We have been living in this shack for years. We watched the houses go up one by one, and then we were told our shack was not on the map.”
Her husband, Msizi Hlongwane, said the construction company had been dragging its feet. The area councillor had tried to help them, to no avail.
“I have gone to meeting after meeting and nothing has worked. I still live in a shack.”