Cape Town – Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has caused quite a stir after a video of her reprimanding health personnel at a clinic in Polokwane circulated on social media.
Last week, Ramathuba paid Rethabile Clinic a surprise visit following claims that security personnel at the clinic were selling state-issued face masks to patients.
In the video that has since gone viral, the MEC can be seen reprimanding senior managers for sitting in their offices and taking lunch while patients wait in long queues.
She fiercely scolds one of the senior managers for going to lunch during what she describes as a “disaster” at the clinic.
“As a supervisor, I expected when there is a disaster you’d be sitting here and working,” Ramathuba told the senior manager.
“When there is a disaster, I can’t go on leave. When there is a disaster with Eskom, the president cancelled [his trip to the] World Economic Forum. You can’t be the first to go on lunch when there is a disaster and leave the junior staff. You should be here and coming up with a way to resolve this matter,” she continued.
Phophi Ramathuba has finally decided to treat her job as a calling 👏👏 https://t.co/WUw34NFxRP
— Phillix M. Kokwele 🇿🇦 (@Matome_Kay) January 22, 2023
The video received mixed reactions on social media, with some applauding Ramathuba for reprimanding her staff while others thought the MEC was being unprofessional.
However, speaking during an interview on eNCA, Ramathuba said she won’t apologise for her firm stance.
“South Africans must forgive me if I might at times lose my cool, like some are saying, but I don’t believe that is how I am. I’m firm and there is a difference between being angry, attacking or being unprofessional.
“I was trying to say, ‘how do you expect poor patients who can’t afford health care to come to the clinic, which is their only hope’? The patients we are treating in public facilities have no alternatives. If they had an alternative, they would not think twice about not visiting us,” she said.
She added that people needed to understand that, in her department, she dealt with matters of life and death and response to those would be swift.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe