Investigation into missing stillborn baby corpse under way at SA’s Witbank Hospital

Two Mpumalanga Health officials face suspension after a stillborn baby’s body was found rotting in a deep freeze at the Witbank General Hospital.

Mother, Cynthia Sibanyoni says she has been given the run around when she tried to bury her child. The incident sparked a protest outside the hospital.

Provincial Health J MEC Sasekani Manzini confirmed the incident, saying the body should have been kept in the mortuary. “But I want to assure the community that I’ve already spoken to the family and at the hospital, there is already an investigation in terms of what really happened. So far I can confirm that two officials are going to be suspended but we want to assure that the family I’ve already spoken to them we convey our condolences to the family and community of Emalahleni.”

Two health officials are likely to be served with suspension letters. This is after the 34-year-old mother says the hospital has worsened her pain after she lost her child due to hypertension.

She also says she was told the body of her baby was taken to the hospital mortuary, but upon investigation to collect the body for burial it was nowhere to be found.

Sibanyoni says two days later, she was shown a decomposed body that was kept in a freezer. Sibanyoni says she has opened a case with the police.

“My baby was missing and they didn’t explain how he was missing. They were doing a runaround, not saying anything. They made a mistake by putting the baby in that fridge and they did not take him out the following day. The person who was supposed to take out the corpse forgot and they left the corpse until Monday. The hospital agreed that they made that mistake, the baby that they showed me is not fully developed and an eight months baby is supposed to be fully grown.”

Community members protested outside the hospital’s main gate to show their anger.

Manzini adds that the community will be informed about the outcome of the investigation.