File picture: Debbie Yazbek

Polokwane - Limpopo mother Marlyne Mabunda says her teenage son was among “the three” people who died after a generator ran out of diesel at Letaba Hospital.

Mabunda’s claim further deepened the mystery over the number of people who died as a result of last Wednesday’s blackout at the public hospital near Tzaneen.

A grieving Mabunda fought hard to hold back her tears on Wednesday when she narrated the story of her 17-year-old son Ntshuxeko Ngobeni.

Speaking to The Star from her home in Nkambako village, Mabunda insisted that Ntshuxeko’s condition deteriorated after the power cut. She said her son was in the same intensive care unit where two other people died.

“One person died on Thursday, Faith (Malatjie) died on Friday and my son died on Saturday,” she said.

Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba admitted last week that the hospital had had insufficient diesel, but denied anyone had died because of power cuts.

Ramathuba said one person died last Thursday morning while she was being transported to ICU because of diabetes complications.

On Monday, Malatjie’s family told the media they intended to sue the department.

On Wednesday, Mabunda was adamant that all three patients in the ICU had since died. She did not know the family of the patient who died last Thursday.

Mabunda arrived at the hospital last Thursday morning and found the deceased’s family arguing with nurses over the cause of her death. “The family were angry with the nurses, insisting she died because the generator ran out of diesel, but the nurses denied it.”

Mabunda said while she was still in hospital on Friday, a nurse received a call. She said the nurse responded to the person over the phone that not all people in ICU had died.

“She said ‘not all of them are dead, the small boy is still alive, but he doesn’t look good’,” Mabunda explained.

He died the next day.

DA MPL Langa Bodlani on Wednesday visited the Mabunda and Malatjie families. “The department has shown total lack of lack of integrity in this matter,” he said.

Provincial health spokesman Macks Lesufi refused to comment.

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The Star