Twitter spat after Mboweni’s ‘apartheid hospital’ remark about Tygerberg

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Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo has accused Finance Minister Tito Mboweni of insulting healthcare workers by claiming that the province’s largest hospital, Tygerberg, is racially segregated. “I am completely dismayed at the remarks … about Tygerberg Hospital in his budget speech in which he claims that wards are racially segregated. This is an outright lie and Minister Mboweni should be made to apologise for misleading the house,” Mbombo said.

The DA’s chief whip Natasha Mazzone has also threatened to lay charges against Mboweni with the parliamentary Ethics Committee for his comments, notes a TimesLIVE report.

During his address, Mboweni outlined infrastructure and structural reforms which he said were at the centre of a recovery plan that would include renovations at hospitals, including Tygerberg Hospital, which Mboweni said still had a black and white section, structurally.

“By the way, this Tygerberg Hospital thing, it still has a black and white section. There is a section where blacks used to go and there is a section where whites used to go. Structurally it is still there, so the thing has to be removed and a completely new hospital constructed there. It’s unbelievable.”

Mbombo said Mboweni has completely ignored the simple truths about the hospital, which includes its medical innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic and its world class expertise in infectious diseases. In a Twitter exchange that ensued after his budget speech, Mboweni told Mbombo not to over-react, saying his segregation comments referred to the hospital structure rather than wards, notes TimesLIVE.

“Please do not over-react. There are still two structures there at Tygerberg Hospital. One was for blacks and the other for whites. They exist. What does not exist any longer is the segregation of patients. That is the reality. You might not like it.” Mbombo responded that the segregated structures, which were built during apartheid, had nothing to do with the DA, which took over the Western Cape from the ANC only in 2009.

“Also, central hospitals are a national competency but you neglected them and provinces now footing bill,” she tweeted. “This ‘Fake News’ has one objective in mind: to detract from the ugly truth that the national government is going to pour another R10.5bn into the bailout of SAA. This multibillion-rand flight of fancy will undermine the jobs, safety and wellbeing of millions of South Africans, and the Western Cape government will have to help pick up the tab,” said Mbombo.

Full TimesLIVE report

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