AS MZANSI approaches day 100 of its national lockdown, the painful stories of people losing their parents to the coronavirus are becoming an everyday occurrence.

When Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize posted his daily updates of the latest Covid-19 numbers on Saturday evening,a Twitter user by the name of Ntando Ndabeni sent a heartfelt message commending the minister for his tireless work .

Ntando also revealed that his mum had recently died of the potentially deadly virus and that she struggled to get even a bed at the Mthatha General Hospital in the Eastern Cape.

“Dear minister @DrZweliMkhize.  Thank you for your relentless efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Please know that when you give your Stats today, 1 of the deceased is my 54yr old mother. I know your dedication sir and am truly grateful. I do know that no one can stop death.”

“However, I'd like to bring to your attention that my mother had a lot to fight these past 2 weeks besides the actual virus. She arrived at Mthatha General on Friday night the 12th June and stayed at casualty, on a stretcher till Sunday night the 14th because there were no beds... On Monday the 22nd & Tuesday the 23rd she got so critical that she was said to need ICU ventilation as the oxygen support was no longer sufficient.”

“ But because of bed shortages in ICU, the medical staff opted for high flow oxygen which didn't help. This morning at 12:15. She was confirmed dead. I appreciate you Mr minister, you have worked relentlessly. My only prayer and desire is that what happened to my mom doesn't happen to anyone else. She froze in that casualty 2 weeks ago and she needed that ventilation this week. Thank you, Dr Mkhize.

Minister Mkhize responded to Ntando’s tweets saying , “Dear Ntando, 240 characters is not enough to for me to express my condolences to you and your family. Your mother sounded like a brave and strong woman and it pains me that more could have been done to assist in her greatest time of need. You are correct that no one can stop death, but everything must be done to prevent it.”

“ Although I can't undo what has happened, I will personally ask for an investigation into the quality of healthcare and the amount of resources at the facility. We’ll do everything in our power to make it right. I will update you personally on the outcomes of the investigation and what is being done to ensure this does not happen again. My heart is with you and your family until then.”


TimesLive reports that  Ntando’s father, Christopher Mongezwa Ndabeni, is receiving treatment for the virus at the same hospital where his wife Lungelwa Sindiswa Ndabeni died on Saturday.

The couple had been married since 1985. They have seven children and 15 grandchildren