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South Africa Government

10/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/14/2021 00:32

Home Affairs on the passing away of refugee

Media statement on the passing away of Ms Aline Mauwa

The Department of Home Affairs has noted a statement issued by the Women and Children at Concern (WCC) which communicates the passing on of Ms Aline Mauwa, a refugee who was among the protestors who occupied pavements in Brooklyn, Pretoria, and was accommodated in Lindela Repatriation Centre.

Sadly, this statement contains deliberate misrepresentation of facts which the Department seeks to correct, for the benefit of society. Central to WCC claims is that Ms Mauwa died a "brutal and abusive death…caused by denial of health care in Lindela".

We do not want to enter into mud-slinging but wish to provide the following facts:

Ms Aline Mauwa passed away at Leratong Hospital in the afternoon of Saturday, 09 October 2021 following a short illness.

Ms Mauwa had been receiving treatment at the clinic inside the Lindela and nearby hospitals since early August 2021.

She first visited the clinic in Lindela on 06 August 2021 and she received treatment and was regularly monitored.

Two days later, on 08 August 2021, she was transferred to the Yusuf Dadoo Hospital for further treatment. After receiving treatment, she returned to Lindela.

A day later, on 09 August 2021, she visited the clinic in Lindela for a different ailment.

She received treatment at the clinic and was regularly monitored.

On 28 September 2021 she was referred to Yusuf Dadoo Hospital for treatment of the ailment she reported on 09 August 2021. She returned to Lindela after treatment.

On 09 October 2021, the clinic in Lindela referred her to Leratong Hospital where she passed away.

Contrary to the WCC statement, Ms Mauwa did not pass away in Lindela.

Anybody who alleges negligence in the treatment of a patient must prove it by reporting the matter to the Health Ombud, who was specifically appointed for that purpose, and/or the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), rather than issue false and inflammatory media statements.

Subsequent to Ms Mauwa's passing, the Department is working with the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees to assist the family with funeral arrangements.

It is worth mentioning that Lindela and the clinic inside it, run by full-time medical and nursing staff, have been subject to several oversight visits by different institutions. For example, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs visited Lindela on 11 May 2020. In addition, the SA Human Rights Commission visited the facility on 29 September 2021.

Media enquiries:

Siya Qoza (spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)
Cell: 082 898 1657

David Hlabane (media manager for the Department of Home Affairs)
Cell: 071 342 4284