The CRL Rights Commission says churches are not supposed to be hospitals, but places of worship. It was reacting to the death of 3-year-old Nontombi Gwame at Pastor Mboro’s church on Sunday.
Nontombi’s mother had taken her to Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng’s Incredible Happenings Ministry in Katlehong east of Johannesburg to be prayed for.
Paramedics were later called to the church, but declared Nontombi dead. One of the paramedics, a female, says she was attacked by the pastor.
CRL Rights Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva earlier investigated the commercialisation of religion. She says the rights of children have to be protected at all times.
“Children have rights and those rights are sacrosanct, the right to life for a child should be protected at whatever cost. We are not against prayers that take place, but we’re saying there are hospitals and a lot of religious leaders go to hospitals to pray for people. The two work very well together.”
Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa will visit the family on Thursday.
Gauteng Health spokesperson Lesemang Matuka says they are investigating the matter, including the mother’s claims that nurses at the Daveyton clinic where she had taken the child on Saturday, could not help the child because they had no intravenous drips.
“We heard about those unfortunate incidents and we are taking the allegations very seriously, hence, the MEC will be visiting the family to try and understand what happened and launch a proper investigation on the matter.”
-Zoleka Qodashe and Tshepo Phagane