Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba not stripped of doctor title

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba. Picture: File

Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba. Picture: File

Published Mar 1, 2023


Pretoria - Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has not been stripped of her title by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

The confusion comes after the council found her guilty of “unprofessional” conduct following a video of Ramathuba scolding a patient of Zimbabwean descent that went viral.

In the video, circulated in August last year while Ramathuba was visiting Bela-Bela hospital, she can be heard shouting at the patient that she had put the hospital under strain because she was a foreigner.

She is heard saying: “You are killing my health system.”

The HPCSA confirmed that in its report it would “caution” and “reprimand” Ramathuba for the unprofessional behaviour.

Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, HPCSA’s head of corporate affairs, Christopher Tsatsawane, refused to comment on the matter, referring the newspaper to the Health Department in Limpopo, although he confirmed that Ramathuba was still a doctor.

“She (Ramathuba) is still a doctor because she was not stripped of her title. She was just cautioned,” he said.

Ramathuba’s spokesperson, Thilivhali Muavha, could not be reached for comment.

The furore came after EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who was also the party’s convener in Limpopo before the elective conference, laid a complaint with the HPCSA, accusing Ramathuba of violating the human rights of the woman.

The video incident brought widespread outrage, with some defending the MEC while others called her out for being insensitive.

Recently, during the State of the Province Address presented by Premier Stan Mathabatha, the EFF’s provincial chairperson, Tshilidzi Maraga, attempted to disrupt proceedings at the start of Mathabatha’s speech, asking for speaker Rosemary Molapo to kick Ramathuba out of the house because she had been found guilty by the council.

Ramathuba is no stranger to controversy.

She was labelled a “cheap populist” and “shameless” after was caught on another video scolding senior managers at Rethabile Clinic in Polokwane in January by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union in Limpopo

In that controversial clip that also went viral on social media, Ramathuba is seen accusing supervisors and nurses of sitting idle while patients waited in long queues.

She is heard saying: “As a supervisor, I expect you’d be sitting here and working. When there is a disaster I can’t go on leave. When there was a disaster with Eskom, the president cancelled his trip to the World Economic Forum. You can’t be the first to go to lunch when there is a disaster and leave junior staff.”

Ramathuba was again in trouble at the beginning of the academic year last year when she told female pupils to “close their legs and open their books”.

In the footage that also went viral while visiting Gwenane Secondary School in Sekgakgapeng, Ramathuba said: “To the girl child I say, open your books and close your legs. Don’t open your legs, open your books. Let me hear you say it! Open your books and close your legs!”

Pretoria News