The Daily Dispatch interviewed family and nurses, who provided pictures of what looked like a construction site. Debris, timber and containers of paint could be seen littering the "ward" – an environment not conducive for any patient to recover in. Nurses say she was admitted as a "normal" patient, and it emerged only later that she had previously tested positive, following which health workers demanded personal protection equipment (PPE) before treating her.
The department has not responded to the allegations, but the matter is being investigated by the health ombudsman.
If true that Banzi died with such indignity in the linen room of a hospital, those responsible for the ill-treatment of a patient, regardless of their relation to high-profile individuals, should be held accountable.
The allegations come at a time when health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, during a visit to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane on Monday, said all those who tested positive for Covid-19 must be admitted to isolation facilities to contain the spread of the virus. He did not provide much detail on how the government would carry out admissions to its hospitals and quarantine facilities. However, stories such as Banzi's do little to inspire confidence in the health authority's capability to ensure citizens receive quality care at public health facilities.