Halisi Banda died just a few hours after meeting his father for the first time. Picture: Monique Duval
Cape Town - The death of a seven-month-old baby boy at a Cape Flats clinic sparked a hostage drama as angry relatives held staff captive, demanding answers.

The baby died just a few hours after meeting his father for the first time.

The dramatic scene unfolded at Westlake Clinic on Monday evening as the family of baby Halisi Banda refused to leave the clinic demanding the paperwork they need to get his body to the morgue.

Shortly before 7pm the Daily Voice was informed that a Metro Police vehicle was dispatched to the clinic where four staff members were being held by force.

A second report shows the officers defused the situation.

Halisi’s grieving parents on Tuesday said there was an unexplained seven-hour delay to get their baby’s body to the morgue, which upset them greatly.

Halisi travelled with his mother, Doreen Banda, 23, from Malawi to meet his father Harrison, 27, for the first time.

They arrived on Sunday and his mother says he was fine, but on Sunday night he started crying.

Harrison explains: “He was our firstborn and I came to Cape Town before he was born. I met him for the first time on Sunday and I was so happy.

“His mother told me on Sunday night he was not well so we took him to the clinic.

“When we got there they said an ambulance must be called, but they never put him in the ambulance and they waited for a doctor from Victoria Hospital to come see him.

“He died at 11am and we could not believe it,” the dad says, with tears in his eyes.

Uncle George Banda, 32, says while the family struggled to deal with the shock of losing the baby so suddenly they tried desperately to get answers from clinic staff.

“One said he had a fever and the other one said it was low blood pressure. We still don’t know what caused his death,” George says.

“The mortuary van came four times, but could not take the body because the doctor and the other people would not sign the papers. We don’t even know why, so we kept them there and refused to let them out.

“The community came and we all stood there and they were also very angry.”

The uncle says when Metro Police arrived, the paperwork was finally signed and the tiny body was taken away.

However, Area South Mayco member, Eddie Andrews, denies there was a hostage situation.

“There was no hostage situation. There was no need to defuse any situation. The family was very appreciative of the services rendered.”

He confirms that Metro Police were sent to the clinic, but says they were there to provide security for staff who were working late.

But George says Andrews is lying. “No, he is lying. We are very upset at what they put us through and we wanted the paperwork so we forced them to stay. Only when Metro came was it sorted.”

The grieving family are now trying to raise money to take Halisi’s body back to Malawi where he will be buried.