Let me see the post-op X-ray. Only then will I be joyous
November 17, 2015
MBOMBELA – Today might be the day that Mr Dingaan Mngomezulu’s broken leg will finally be fixed – seven months after having suffered the fracture.
However, his legal team remains sceptical. “Let me see the post-op X-ray. Only then will I be joyous,” one of the role players remarked.
This after the provincial Department of Health has offered several excuses why Mngomezulu (34) couldn’t undergo surgery, even after the High Court
in Gauteng ruled in early October that he should be rendered the necessary care immediately.
Mngomezulu broke his right upper leg in April and was left in Matikwane Hospital near Hazyview with nothing more than a few bricks fixed to the leg,
supposedly to keep it in traction. After three months of having lain there in vain, a family friend brought him to Dr Corné Ackermann, a private
orthopaedic surgeon who found that, not only had his broken leg shortened by at least five centimetres, but that surgical intervention was his only
hope of ever walking again.
Armed with Ackermann’s report, the family friend sought the help of De Meyer De Vries Attorneys, who brought an urgent
application before the High Court. The matter was finally heard in October and judge Mr Hans Fabricius ruled that, not only should Mngomezulu be
rendered the necessary care immediately, but he (Fabricius) should receive weekly updates on the patient’s progress.
Immediate intervention would have entailed surgery. However, the department seemed to have been unperturbed by the court order, merely ordering Mngomezulu to
be readmitted to Matikwane where surgery couldn’t be performed in the first place since it was only a district hospital.
He was then transferred to Themba where the operation also couldn’t be performed because of a lack of orthopaedic pins. Later, an underlying medical condition
of Mngomezulu was given as an excuse why he couldn’t be operated on. A private physician, having had insight into Mngomezulu’s case, said the condition was in
no way contraindicative of surgery.
At one point, Mngomezulu was even taken to Steve Biko Hospital in Gauteng, only to be transferred back to Rob Ferreira before being taken to Themba again.
Breytenbach persisted and instructed advocates in Pretoria to supply Fabricius with reports explaining how the department had been sending Mngomezulu from pillar
to post. She was informed yesterday that MEC for health, Mr Gillion Mashego, had submitted a report to the court which stated that Mngomezulu’s operation will be
done on today.