SEBOKENG – Ntsebeng Motaung, 29, is in shock after Sebokeng Hospital gave her a newborn boy’s body to bury after she was informed she had given birth to a stillborn baby girl.
The hospital’s incompetence has left the family with numerous doubts, the most pressing of which being whether the heartbroken mother’s newborn girl died during childbirth.
Tlalane Motaung, Ntsebeng’s sister, described the events leading up to the horrific discovery.
Tlalane told TimeLIVE that she went to Sebokeng Hospital with her sister on April 28. At 3 a.m., the couple arrived at the hospital.
Thirteen minutes later, Tlalane revealed the devastating news from Ntsebeng that she had given birth to a stillborn.
Tlalane said her sister told her that she had given birth to a girl, but the nurse told her that the baby had died. The nurse allegedly showed Ntsebeng the baby and she confirmed that it was a girl.
Tlalane then received another message from her sister asking her to fetch the body on the nurse’s instructions. No mortuary was open then, and Tlalane told Ntsebeng to inform the nurse that they would make arrangements in the morning.
The following day was a Saturday, and after being discharged, Tlalane and Ntsebeng went to an undertaker. The sisters were told the baby’s body could only be collected on Tuesday, 2 May, because government mortuaries don’t open on weekends.
When Tuesday rolled around, Ntsebeng and her mother went to the hospital mortuary and the baby’s body was released to them. The body was already wrapped but had documentation and tags indicating it belonged to the grieving mother.
The family had planned to hold a funeral for the baby the next day, on Wednesday, 3 May, but when they unwrapped the body to bathe it as part of a pre-burial traditional ritual, they made the shocking discovery.
Sebokeng Hospital had given them the body of a baby boy instead of the girl Ntsebeng gave birth to.
The family scrambled for answers, which the hospital struggled to provide. The staff told the family they followed the protocol and that all documentation was in order.
The family went to the hospital mortuary, but the body of Ntsebeng’s baby girl was not there. They were told there were no stillborn babies in the morgue.
Even more puzzling was that there was only one birth on record on 28 April, which was Ntsebeng’s.
The grieving family want answers and has opened a case of infringement of the Birth and Death Registration Act at the Sebokeng police station.
Newzroom Afrika reported that the family is considering suing the Gauteng Department of Health for the traumatic ordeal.
While the family questions what happened to Ntsebeng’s baby’s body, they can’t help but wonder if the baby is really dead.