Controversial Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has come to the defense of underfire South African doctor and Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Limpopo Dr. Phophi Ramathuba, saying she should be promoted for haranguing a Zimbabwean national.
The unidentified Zimbabwean woman was admitted at Bela Bela hospital in Limpopo province when Ramathuba told her that she should seek medical attention from the Zimbabwe government because she was not on President Mnangagwa’s payroll.
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Mliswa said Ramathuba was simply telling the truth and protecting the interests of her country.
“There is no way Ramathuba should apologise or stand down. She did her job and must actually be promoted. The patient was treated and was simply told the truth. It would be a different scenario if she had not been treated No country can continue supporting externals.
“SA has a budget for its people and we should push for our own leaders to cater for us. We are weak in terms of seeking accountability, fighting corruption etc. yet we want to crucify a foreigner for protecting the interests of her country. Most of the people attacking Ramathuba also attack us when we call out their corrupt party leaders. They defend them because they are “their thieves”. You can’t have it both ways. Carry your cross!” Mliswa said.
There have been calls within and outside South Africa for Dr. Ramathuba to resign over her conduct but denied any wrongdoing, insisting she was employed to provide medical services for poor South Africans.
“Our SADC partners are willing to pay private hospitals in this country, millions of Rands but they are not willing to reimburse the state hospitals which is attending to the millions of their citizens. So, we reach a level wherein we need to start educating the patients themselves and ask them a fairness part of it because when we speak to our counterparts, we are not getting that joy.” Ramathuba said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Embassy in South Africa has accused Ramathuba of failing to utilize appropriate channels and platforms to address her issue.
“We’re concerned by the way the MEC for Health in Limpopo addressed a Zimbabwean patient in Bela Bela. We believe platforms exist for engagement and we subscribe to full utilization of appropriate channels and platforms for the good of our two countries,” the embassy said.