Zim complains to SA over MEC Phophi’ s rants

Ambassador David Hamadziripi


Zimbabwe’s embassy in South Africa says it has engaged the South African government to raise its concerns over remarks made by a local government official to a Zimbabwean citizen.

The Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of Health Limpopo Province, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, was recently filmed telling a Zimbabwean patient that illegal Zimbabwean immigrants were a burden to South Africa’s health delivery system.

Ramathuba also told the unnamed Zimbabwean patient who reportedly underwent surgery at Bela Bela Hospital in Limpopo Province that she should go back to Mnangagwa, in reference to Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

The remarks apparently did not go down well with Zimbabwe’s government which then lodged a complaint through SA’s the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

In a public notice dated 26 August 2022, the Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Pretoria said:

The Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Pretoria watched with shock and disbelief the video images) in which the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of Health Limpopo Province, spoke to a Zimbabwean national who happened to be a patient in a hospital in the province.

The Embassy has been in contact with the government of South Africa, through the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, to who it has conveyed the concerns of the government of Zimbabwe on the comments made by the MEC.

What did Ramathuba say? She told the patient that Zimbabweans were putting a huge strain on the Limpopo Health Department’s budget and were treating South Africa “like a charity”. Said Ramathuba in the viral video:

You’re supposed to be with Mnangagwa, he doesn’t give me money to operate you guys. Now I must operate you with my limited budget.

When you guys are sick, you decide to cross into Limpopo. That embassy in South Africa is a charity department, that’s what gets said.

The truth is painful: Limpopo has about 5.7 million people. Most of these citizens do not have medical aid. They rely on the state.

Instead of using my limited budget for what it is meant for, we’re here sorting out something Emerson Mnangagwa must do.

This is exactly why, when the people of Limpopo want access to health systems, they cannot get it. That is angering the community.

You guys aren’t even registered here, you are not counted, some are illegals. It’s unfair. I cannot go to Zimbabwe and get help.

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