This woman lived through the nightmare most pregnant women fear – carrying a dead baby in their womb.
Sizeka Mbandezeli claims she was turned away on two occasions by a city clinic while in labour pains.
She eventually gave birth to her firstborn baby, who doctors say had been dead for five days already.
She now wants answers from City of Cape Town authorities, saying her baby could have been alive today if she had been helped when she went into labour.
The 23-year-old tells the Daily Voice she had been going for prenatal care at the Delft Day Hospital, which is run by the Western Cape Health Department.
But as her tummy grew, she decided to go to the Delft Clinic, which falls under the auspices of the City.
The Delft South resident says everything was going well until she started experiencing back pain in April.
“I went to the Delft Clinic but because it was not my date for a check-up, the nurses told me to not worry and it was probably just the baby turning,” she says.
The pain continued and Sizeka went back on her date, May 3, when three nurses tried to decide whether they could hear her baby’s heartbeat or not.
“They argued among themselves about it for a while before telling me to come back on May 24 for my next check up,” she says.
“But on the evening of May 9, I began experiencing severe pains and had my sister take me to the Delft Day Hospital the following day.”
She was examined and immediately transferred to Karl Bremer Hospital, where she was induced.
Her shocked sister Funeka Mbandezeli, 34, says: “Her water broke and it was this brown liquid which smelled horrible, the baby itself, a boy, had started to turn black.”
“From the waist down the skin had peeled off and the doctor said he had been dead for over five days.
“I’m angry that the nurses at that clinic didn’t pick this up, instead they kept sending my sister home which left her walking around with a dead baby rotting in her stomach.”
The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli, says they view the allegations in a very serious light and are investigating the matter.
Emerantia Cupido from Department of Health says their records confirm the patient was admitted to their facility on May 10 and transferred to Karl Bremer the same day.
Sizeka says: “I was excited about the baby, it was my firstborn and I didn’t even get to hold him or name him.
“The only memory I have of him is the decomposing bundle they showed me and the bad smell after my water broke.”