Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has appealed to the South African government to bear with Zimbabweans for 400 days before chasing them away from the country, a ‘Bulawayo24’ report revealed on Thursday.
Chamisa is a Zimbabwean politician and the president of the Citizens coalition for change.
His said this after South Africa’s Limpopo provincial health MEC Phophi Ramathuba attacked a Zimbabwean patient at a hospital and told her she must go back to Zimbabwe to health care.
In a video that trended at number one on Twitter this week, Ramathuba is seen at Bela Bela Hospital addressing a patient who is presumably Zimbabwean.
Ramathuba told the unnamed patient that as an MEC, she was already facing difficulties in providing quality health care to Limpopo citizens because of budgetary constraints.
Chamisa said: “Fellow Africans in South Africa, we note your frustrations and economic constraints. I kindly ask for your support to Zimbabweans in these trying times.”
“Help us as we do our best to fix Zimbabwe for a prosperous future. In less than 400 days our pains, agonies and fights will be a thing of the past. We will win Zimbabwe for change.”
Fellow Africans in South Africa, we note your frustrations and economic constraints.I kindly ask for your support to Zimbabweans in these trying times. Help us as we do our best to fix Zimbabwe for a prosperous future. In less than 400 days our fights will be a thing of the past.
— nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) August 25, 2022
Chamisa called on South Africa to help them hold credible elections.
“We need free and fair elections to permanently resolve our politics and the economy. Many are not in your country out of mischief but on account of poor leadership, bad governance and deadening poverty.”
“Zimbabweans mean no harm to you. After all, we are decent and great neighbours,” he said.
The Zimbabwe exiles forum is backing Ramathuba, according to an eNCA interview on Thursday. It says she is not xenophobic and is only highlighting the truth. The forum blames President Emmerson Mnangagwa for Zimbabweans flocking to local health-care sites.
South African Medical Association response (Sama)
In reaction to the widely circulated video of Ramathuba’s actions, Sama said on Thursday, she has a duty and responsibility to comply with the ethical conduct befitting a health-care professional who took an oath.
Meanwhile opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters issued a statement saying, "Ramathuba, whose cruelty reveals she is posturing as a medical doctor, was recorded humiliating and cross-examining a patient who was due for surgery, because she was receiving medical care in South Africa while she hails from Zimbabwe. The hateful comments which were in full view of individuals who laughed at the merciless shaming of a patient, reveal a shocking hatred for a fellow human being by someone tasked with protecting and saving human life.
"The Afrophobic attack by Ramathuba on a bed ridden patient is cruel and malicious and has no justification. It is a slippery slope, because health rights are human rights and to attempt to rationalise the denial of the provision of healthcare on the basis of someone's nationality will lead to gross human violations whose logic is pure hatred.
"It will graduate from denial of healthcare on the basis of nationality, to the denial of healthcare on the basis of tribe and provincial origin, and ultimately a denial of healthcare on the basis of one's contribution to the tax revenue that is meant to ensure that all people are provided with basic human rights."