Farcical treatment delays likely to leave young father a cripple.
When Linah Mkhonto’s boy was born on 16 December 1980 she named him Dingaan, after the Zulu king whose impis were defeated by the Voortrekkers at the Battle of Blood River 142 years earlier, on the 16 December 1838. If his mother hoped to prepare him for battle, her choice of name was prescient: today the 34-year old Dingaan Mngomezulu is fighting the battle of his life – for the medical care to which he is entitled.
In the process, Mpumalanga’s MEC for Health, Gillion Mashego, has narrowly escaped being locked up – but the Sheriff was barred from entering the provincial offices ostensibly because it is a national key point.
After matriculating in 2003, Mngomezulu established himself as a handyman in the small farming town of Hazyview, next to the Kruger Nattional Park. Times were tough, but some months he managed to earn R5,000 to provide for wife, Edith, and their three children, now 14, 10 and 8.
But on 2 April this year Dingaan fractured the femur of his right leg while at work in his rural village, Marite. Although that same day he was admitted to the nearest medical facility, Matikwana Hospital, about 10km from Marite, he was seen by a doctor only two weeks later.
Meantime, his leg had been placed in makeshift traction, using building bricks as weights.