EFF calls for sacking of MEC official filmed harassing patient from Zim
The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in South Africa has blasted Dr Phophi Ramathuba, a medical doctor and Member of the Limpopo Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC), for unethically harassing a Zimbabwean patient for seeking medical assistance at a hospital in her country while escaping the collapsed healthcare system back home in Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday, social media was awash with a video where Ramathuba was confronting a Zimbabwean immigrant waiting for a medical procedure in a South African hospital.
“You know he (Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa) doesn’t give money to me to operate you guys and I am operating you with my limited resources,” says Dr Ramathuba in the video.
“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…”
The EFF in Limpopo has since condemned the conduct of Ramathuba and called on authorities to discredit her as a medical doctor. The party labeled her sentiments as “xenophobic” attacks to fellow Africans.
“The MEC has undoubtedly launched a scathing attack on foreign nationals and could be heard on the video clip asking the patient about her language and why does the poor patient find herself in Bela-Bela/Lephalale as a non-South African, while she was supposed to be receiving treatment within the borders of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Emerson Mnangagwa.
“Africa belongs to Africans and there is no room for Xenophobia in South Africa, therefore the EFF will report Ramathuba to the South Africa Human Rights Commission for what is an outright Human Rights violation of patients.
“Furthermore, we call for the revocation of her license as a professional doctor for undermining the code of ethics for medical doctors and trying to enforce a dompas system in Limpopo hospitals.
“Finally, we call for her immediate removal as MEC. Our country cannot be led, at any level, by anyone who will not respect the dignity of African people.
“The MEC is a direct danger to our humanity as a people and the basic requirements of a conduct of health professionals. People go to hospitals to find life, not humiliation and death,” EFF said in a statement.
Floyd Shivambu, Deputy President and Chief Whip of the EFF also slammed her saying her utterances were unethical.
“Dr. Phophi has certainly violated the Hippocratic Oath which obliges all Physicians/Doctors to ‘abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman, bond or free’. This is unfair abuse and discrimination,” he said.
South African journalist and former radio presenter Redi Tlabi said it was totally wrong to confront a patient regardless of their status (legal or illegal) while as “MEC you have access to the President and Ministers of the Zimbabwean Government.”
One SA movement leader Mmusi Maimane said the immigration crisis could only be solved by “robust engagement” with President Mnangagwa to make sure the Southern African country held free and fair elections.
“We must be robust in our engagement with the dictator in Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa and not a sick lady waiting for an operation.
“In less than a year Zimbabwe is having a vital election. If we want to end our migration crisis then we must demand and oversee a free and fair election,” Maimane said.
MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi aslo registered his displeasure at Ramathuba.
“This is an outright violation of human rights. She thinks she is making some brilliant points, with an ill-informed pompous attitude! Why agonise sick persons in hospital beds? Where is your basic humanity and compassion? What a pathetic person this whole MEC is! Afrophobe princess
“No one, not even migrant workers or so-called African ‘illegal immigrants’ deserve humiliation in our hospitals. The MEC of Limpopo has violated basic ethics of patient treatment, confidentiality and dignity. She must be removed as MEC, her licence revoked as medical doctor,” he said.