Latoya was ‘joy of the family’ says distraught mother

Nontombi Gwam‚ mother of three-year-old Latoya who died controversially on Christmas Eve in Ekurhuleni‚ says the toddler was a “gift from God”.

Nontombi Gwam‚ mother of three-year-old Latoya

Gwam held a media briefing at her home in Daveyton‚ Ekurhuleni‚ on Wednesday to speak about the loss of her child.

“When I gave birth to her‚ my joy was lifted. I held her in my arms and I knew that she was a gift from God to me. She was a very happy‚ inquisitive child. She asked me many questions and she seemed to want to know about everything that was happening. I often wondered why she was so curious‚” she said.

“On different occasions‚ she even asked me what happens when people die. I could not answer that question. Now she knows better than me. I stand here before you‚ I am broken. My daughter lost her life because of the negligence of the paramedics. Not only that but the same paramedics assaulted me with an oxygen cylinder and my leg is fractured‚” she alleged.

“My child believed in God. Every time when she was praying she called the name of Jesus. She would say‚ my Jesus‚ my Jesus‚ my Jesus. She would do this even when playing with her friends. She also liked the song Uyalalela [by Hlengiwe Mhlaba]‚” Gwam explained.

There were conflicting accounts of whether the child died at Pastor Mboro’s church or in an ambulance which was taking her to hospital. Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa previously visited Gwam at her house and assured her that the provincial government would get to the bottom of what led to her daughter’s death.

Gwam earlier said that she first took Latoya‚ who was ill‚ to Daveyton Main Clinic but claimed that she was unable to find appropriate help. She then went to a private doctor and afterwards‚ when the child became restless‚ took her to Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng‚ known as Pastor Mboro.

Mboro prayed for the child and called for an ambulance. When the ambulance finally arrived‚ there were arguments between Mboro and paramedics. The details of what happened at Mboro’s church‚ the Incredible Happenings Ministry in Katlehong‚ are under investigation.

Gwam complained about an apparent lack of progress in cases that she had opened against the paramedics.

She appealed for anyone able to help cover some of the costs of her daughter’s burial in Eastern Cape to come forward. Mboro offered to help with the coffin and burial costs but Gwam needed funds to transport her family to the funeral.

Latoya’s memorial will be held on Thursday at Mboro’s church‚ at 8.30am.


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