Elderly couple turned away from hospital for not speaking Xhosa

An elderly couple was stoned while driving between Parow and Mitchells Plain last week.

According to Roy Retief (driver), he didn't realise his wife was hit when he sped off to avoid the rocks that were pelting their vehicle.

When he came to a stop he then realised that his wife was soaked in blood and he rushed to Mitchells Plain day hospital.

When we got there I shouted in Afrikaans asking for help. The nurse looked at me and said 'if you not speaking Xhosa to me I am not going to help you'.

Roy Retief

Retief said he asked for help but the nurse insisted that he should speak Xhosa or go and wait in the waiting area.

He says he left and went to a nearby Melomed hospital where his wife received help, no questions asked.

Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Health apologised to Retief for what happened and promised to follow up on the language issue saying the Western Cape has three official languages - Xhosa, Afrikaans and English.

The right to access to health is a human right issue. No person should be turned away when there's an emergency.

Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Minister of Health

Listen to Roy Retief explain what happened to him and wife in the Mitchells Plain area:


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