The Limpopo Department of Health has made a plea to bereaved families to liaise with the ‘under pressure’ forensic pathology unit first before finalising funeral dates. The department says the unit is under huge pressure due to the increased number of unnatural deaths demanding autopsies to be performed in terms of the Health Act.

ALSO READ: Two Bela-Bela learners stab schoolmate to death in bullying incident

The department says they are currently inundated with daily calls from grieving families. They are seeking the release of the remains of their loved ones for burial purposes citing that arrangements have been finalized and the funeral date cannot be changed because of the costs involved.

MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has appealed for cooperation and understanding from bereaved families. She emphasized the importance of coordinating with the forensic pathology services unit before confirming burial dates.

The department pleads with bereaved families in Limpopo to consult the forensic pathology unit first
Forensic pathology unit vehicle


“The current unfortunate situation has led to occasional tensions between families and the department,” she said.

“Which we do not want at all, especially given the timing. When people are mourning, ours must be to comfort them. Unnatural deaths are in their nature too traumatic psychologically because they occur suddenly.

“Families are not prepared as compared to when someone is sick for a long time and postmortem delays unfortunately worsen the situation. We understand the emotional strain families experience during this waiting period. By working together, we can navigate these challenges more effectively,” said MEC Ramathuba.

The Limpopo Department of Health has expressed sadness at the unfortunate news that a foreign national was found dead in the old mental health care users ward at Tshilidzini Hospital.

ALSO READ: Third suspect in Phala Phala Farm theft arrested 

The department has reported the matter for investigation. An autopsy will be conducted to establish the exact cause of death.

Foreigner found dead in a mental health ward at Tshilidzini Hospital
Tshilidzini Hospital


“We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased,” said MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

Meanwhile, MEC Ramathuba will on Sunday, launch two 24-hour clinics, Motse and Toitskraal. The facilities will serve the community of Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality, situated within the Sekhukhune District.

“This initiative aims to provide accessible healthcare services 24/7. Eliminating the need for communities to travel long distances for medical care,” said the department.

MEC Ramathuba emphasizes the importance of the support and protection of healthcare workers by urging traditional leaders and community stakeholders to prevent criminal incidents that could jeopardize the safety of these essential workers.

Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha on Tuesday handed over 35 brand-new ambulances to the Emergency Medical Services in the Sekhukhune District. The handover took place at the District Municipality Offices.

ALSO READ: Musa Keys to host Detty December homecoming at Peter Mokaba

The handover is aligned with the set goal by the MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, during the 2023/2024 budget speech. Dr Ramathuba also announced that they will provide a total of 500 new ambulances in all five districts.

Over 105 new ambulances have already been commissioned and allocated to Emergency Medical Services stations across the province.

Premier Stanley Mathabatha on Tuesday handed over 35 brand-new ambulances to the Emergency Medical Services in the Sekhukhune District.
Premier Mathabatha handing over a key to Executive Manager, Department of Health, Ms Mothepana Ralefe.


Premier Mathabatha emphasized the crucial role of ambulance services in delivering timely medical care to patients. Ensuring immediate attention, providing vital first aid, stabilizing patients, and preventing the deterioration of their condition.

“Improving our ability to respond swiftly to emergency situations is our top priority,” said Premier Mathabatha.

“This new fleet of Emergency Medical Services vehicles represents a major step in the department’s ongoing commitment to enhancing healthcare services for all residents of the province.

“It’s important to note that additional districts and Emergency Medical Services stations are in the queue to receive new ambulances in upcoming batches.” The Premier was also joined by MEC Dr Ramathuba.

Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has congratulated Professor Steve Matshidze for successfully performing a robotic assisted knee replacement surgery at Botlokwa Hospital which is the first of its kind in Limpopo.

MEC Ramathuba has described this surgery as a major achievement and milestone as part of the ongoing Rural Health Matters Campaign. Also aimed at reducing surgical backlogs in rural and remote hospitals.

ALSO READ: Bogus Doctor Matthew Lani arrested

“Robot-assisted orthopedic surgery is a significant step forward in reducing surgical backlogs. Improving the quality of healthcare services in rural communities. The utilization of robotics enhances surgical precision, minimizes recovery times, and mitigates risks for patients,” said the department.

Limpopo performs first-ever robotic assisted knee replacement surgery at Botlokwa Hospital

“This breakthrough exemplifies our dedication to advancing medical services in underserved regions. It will pave a way to increase the expedition of orthopedic surgical backlog that has for many years been a challenge for an under-resourced province like Limpopo,” it further read.


“This achievement at Botlokwa Hospital is a testament to the dedication and innovative spirit of our healthcare professionals,” Ramathuba said.

“We anticipate further remarkable developments in the near future. What makes this special is that Botlokwa Hospital is a deep rural hospital. Which is coincidentally built in the village of Charlotte Maxeke. Who is the first black woman to graduate with a science degree in South Africa,” said a very excited MEC Ramathuba 

Limpopo Health MEC Dr. Phophi Ramathuba on Wednesday handed an electronic wheelchair to a patient at Tooseng Clinic, Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality.

Electronic wheelchairs are an essential and lifesaving device for people with mobility impairments.

ALSO READ: Lebowakgomo Hardware store robbed at gunpoint

The wheelchair provides freedom, independence, and mobility in individual daily life and can increase the user’s productivity and lessen the strain and effort required to move from one place to another. It allows the user to access places and activities that might be impossible with a manual wheelchair.


“We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our donors, the captains of the industries. Who after we requested them to donate to us with the electronic wheelchair, couldn’t hesitate but to come on board.

“An electronic wheelchair is not for every person with disabilities. Occupational Therapists must first assess the patient and prescribe where their assessments will find it indicated,” said Ramathuba.

“The service provider must work with the occupational therapist to determine the best wheelchair for the patient’s needs. We are happy to be handing over these electronic wheelchairs. Knowing the critical role they will play in the life of a person with mobility impairments.

“This will also provide a huge relief. It is also a beacon of hope to the recipient whose dignity was stripped due to limited mobility, “said MEC Ramathuba.

Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba has expressed concerns over attempts by community members to destabilise the construction of the newly built Siloam Hospital.

Dr Ramathuba visited the construction site on Monday after the project manager raised some concerns about attempts to destabilise the project. The project was launched in 2011 by then-President Jacob Zuma. The Siloam District Hospital is situated in Nzhelele.

ALSO READ: Calls for proposals for geographical name change in Limpopo

There are people who allegedly continuously organise other community members to block the construction of the hospital.

“There are people who could be admitted and be saved in that hospital. But because we are not yet finished, they are forced to be transported to as far as Mankweng and Polokwane Hospitals,” she said. “We lose some of them while waiting for birth in hospitals that are far away. But if you have this facility being completed, it also attracts highly skilled professionals,” explained Ramathuba.

Dr Phophi Ramathuba condemns the blocking of the construction of Siloam Hospital
Dr Phophi Ramathuba visits construction at Siloam District Hospital


Meanwhile, MEC Dr Ramathuba also handed over 35 more new ambulances to Siloam Hospital Emergency Medical Services on Monday.

The handing over is part of the countdown towards the 500 new ambulances that the MEC pronounced during the 2023/2024 budget speech. Last week, 35 new ambulances were allocated to Nkhensani Hospital Emergency Medical Services. Other districts are still in line to receive new ambulances and will be catered for in the upcoming batches.  

 “Ambulance services are a vital cog in providing prompt medical care to patients. Ensuring that they receive immediate attention and care, providing first aid, stabilizing the patient’s condition, and preventing the condition from worsening. We will continue allocating new ambulances to our Emergency Medical Services. In order to improve the ability to come to the aid of people in emergency situations,” she said.

The Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla officially opened the Mulenzhe clinic in Limpopo accompanied by MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

The clinic is situated at Mulenzhe Thondoni under the Collins Chabane Municipality in the Vhembe District. It caters for 15 communities and has a total staff complement of 10 nursing staff and three additional support personnel.

ALSO READ: Pick n Pay founder Raymond Ackerman has died

The facility is expected to provide a PHC minimum package stream by providing amongst other services like acute stream that deals with minor ailments for children and adults. The mother and child stream deals with family planning, mother pregnancy, labor, neonatal and postnatal. Also, the chronic stream that deals with non-communicable diseases of lifestyle including mental health and oncological screening.

Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla officially opened the Mulenzhe clinic in Limpopo accompanied by MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba
Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla, Vho ThovheleT J Ramovha and MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

“Whenever I am in the area for any other political or whatever engagement. I will come and check whether the clinic is also well kept,” he said.


“But otherwise I will be able to give a good report to my leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa. To say your forefathers there in Mulenzhe have worked. I am looking forward to this facility delivering good and quality health and strengthening our provision of national health insurance making sure that all South Africans get quality services.”

The event was also attended by Vho ThovheleT J Ramovha of the Mulenzhe tribal council.

Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba on Wednesday handed over 35 ambulances at Nkhensani Hospital, Mopani District.

During the 2023/24 budget speech, the MEC made a commitment to the procurement of 500 new ambulances. This is to add to the existing EMS fleet in the province.

The department has also revealed that Suppliers have started with the delivery of vehicles. The first batch of 70 ambulances has been received, and of these, 35 are ready for commissioning and have been allocated to the Mopani District.

ALSO READ: How unemployment led to Limpopo poultry farmer finding his passion

Other districts are set to be catered for in the upcoming batches until the 500 figure is realized.

MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba hands over ambulances at Nkhensani Hospital in Limpopo
New ambulances at Nkhensani Hospital

“The procurement of these 500 ambulances forms part of the initiative, which is the 1st of its kind in EMS South Africa,” the department said in a statement.


“Ambulances will be allocated to crews, consisting of two EMS employees. Only the crew will be allowed to utilize the vehicle. Thus ensuring that there is full accountability in using the vehicle.

“Ambulance services are a vital cog in providing prompt medical care to patients. Ensuring that they receive immediate attention and care, providing first aid, stabilizing the patient’s condition, and preventing the condition from worsening,” said MEC Ramathuba.

“As a province, we need more of the ambulance services. So that we may be able to improve the ability to come to the aid of people in emergency situations within the golden hour, including in far-flung areas where the terrain is high.”

A Man collapsed and died after he was allegedly denied medical assistance at the Rammupudu clinic in Tafelkop, Limpopo. It is understood that the Man died on his way home from the clinic where he had gone to consult.

Some community members allege that he was denied medical assistance at the clinic. The Department of Health in the Province has since released a statement on the matter.

ALSO READ: Pensioner who went missing at 3am found alive next to a river

They have called for calm in the community while allowing the investigations to get to the bottom of this issue.

MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has also sent a team to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.


The department has also issued a preliminary report from the nursing staff. It has indicated that the clinic has recommended he be transferred to Groblersdal Hospital for further medical care and management.

“The patient allegedly refused to immediately go to the hospital citing that he first needs to consult at home before he could go to hospital. The nurses allowed him to go home because when it comes to medical admission and administration, the patient has the final say,” read a short statement from the department.

Limpopo Health MEC Dr. Phophi Ramathuba will, on Tuesday visit Maake Clinic in the Mopani District following a disturbing viral footage. In a video making rounds, a nurse and an escort of a patient are captured exchanging words.

The escorter is seen confronting the nurse to complain about having waited for too long without getting attended to. The nurse on the other hand was talking on the landline telephone. The Nurse has since been precautionarily transferred while the department investigations are continuing.

ALSO READ: Thugs steal food from a Crèche in Ga-Sekororo

The nurse involved and MEC Ramathuba will also be meeting with the patient escort. This will also include different stakeholders including other staff members with the aim of not just fact-finding. But to redress and also strengthening the clinic.

MEC Phophi Ramathuba to visit Maake clinic following viral footage
Dr. Phophi Ramathuba


“The department is currently establishing the context within which the video was extracted. This is in order to gain a full understanding of the incident in order to address the issue,” they said in a statement.

“The department expects healthcare professionals to subscribe to particular standards guided by the ethics and values of Batho Pele and put people first.

While the incident is still being investigated, the department is of the view that the episodes captured on the video are appalling and embarrassing. Especially because at that time there was a patient who was allegedly waiting for emergency assistance,” they said.

Dr Ramathuba is expected to be at the clinic at 11:am.