Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital Faces Backlash: Newborn Incorrectly Declared Dead

Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital Faces Backlash: Newborn Incorrectly Declared Dead

  • South Africans were split on the action that needed to be taken against a Free State hospital that falsely declared a newborn dead
  • The father said the infant was taken to ICU after birth, and a day later, the hospital informed them that the baby had passed
  • Boitumelo Kgabale explained that the hospital told them three days later that the child was still alive

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Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced Briefly News journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who has covered current affairs on the radio for over 15 years.

South Africans were up in arms after the Pelonomi Hospital incorrectly declared an infant dead.
The Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, Free State, incorrectly declared a newborn baby deceased. Images: Stock Images.
Source: Getty Images

South Africans were divided on the action that needed to be taken against the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, Free State after a newborn baby was incorrectly declared dead.

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Bloemfontein family traumatised by false death notice

The baby’s father, Boitumelo Kgabale, said the hospital informed them three days after the death notification that the child was still alive.

According to Kgabale, the infant was born via C-section on 8 May 2024 and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit. The 51-year-old told SABC News that the mom did not see the child until the hospital notified them of the infant’s death.

Kgabale said his family was traumatised by the hospital’s error and had doubts about the infant’s paternity:

“So, we feel that we should take a DNA test. The one that the hospital failed us with. So, now we’ll have to pay for ourselves for such DNA and psychologists that they claim they referred us to, which they didn’t.”

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He added that they would be taking legal action against the Provincial Health Department. The department reportedly acknowledged the mistake.

South Africans empathise with the Kgabale family

The family’s plight impacted many citizens; however, while some called for harsh action, others felt that a sincere apology would suffice.

Aymos Tafari said:

“Even when you talk them nicely, Pelonomi doctors &nurses have a stinky attitude; I'd advise the family to sue the hospital with their incompetent staff.”

Rofhiwa Matshetsha added:

“Mistake, it's a mistake. All we are human beings.”

Hande James commented:

“They should imagine the heartache of being told that your child is dead by someone who doesn't want to do their job properly. Sue them.”

Lorraine Chipana suggested:

“And there were no burial costs as yet. Apology? Yes, it's needed, and counselling, mistakes do happen.”

Lebohang Lebza Goodwill speculated:

“I wish that family luck in taking legal action. I think the parents of a newborn baby are unemployed, and they see that the children's grant is not enough for them as a family.”

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Durban woman claims King Edward Hospital swapped her baby

Briefly News reported that a mother who gave birth to a baby girl at King Edward Hospital in Durban was convinced that the hospital gave her the wrong baby.

After her baby's delivery, the nurses took the child away for cleaning but later informed the mother that the baby had died.

The police initiated an inquest into the situation, and the mother was still awaiting an autopsy report.

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Zingisa Chirwa (Editor) Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced broadcast journalist who has worked predominantly in radio newsrooms for over 15 years. Chirwa has occupied numerous positions, including news journalist, editor and current affairs host, focusing mainly on Mpumalanga politics and business. You can reach Zingisa at