The city of Ekurhuleni has launched an investigation into the death of a three-year-old girl and the alleged assault of a paramedic at the Incredible Happenings church in Katlehong on December 24‚ the municipality said on Monday.
Controversial pastor Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng denies assaulting one of the paramedics after they arrived at the Incredible Happenings church‚ where he had been praying for the child.
The mother had tried to find medical help for her dehydrated child‚ according to News24. She was not helped at a hospital but another doctor put the girl on a drip and said she would be fine. When three-year-old Latoya’s condition worsened the next day her mother Nontombi Gwam‚ 42‚ took her to Mboro to request prayer. She also asked him to call an ambulance.
Mboro claims it took the ambulance an hour and a half to arrive and that his continued prayer kept the child alive during that time. He also claims the ambulance staff did not want to attend to the child immediately. He blames the paramedics for the child’s death.
The paramedics however state that Mboro insisted they transported the child without first assessing her immediate needs‚ and also that he did not want to let go of the girl.
Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services spokesperson William Ntladi said in a statement the city “views this matter seriously” and is working with law enforcement in unravelling it. Ntladi urged community members to stay calm while waiting for investigations to be completed.
On Wednesday‚ the Promotion and Protection of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) sharply criticised Motsoeneng‚ saying churches should not be considered hospitals. But Mboro said people need “both prayer and medication”.
In the statement‚ Ntladi said the city’s MMC for Community Safety Department‚ Vivian Chauke‚ and the local ward councillor have visited Gwam’s family regularly to help with all relevant logistics building towards a decent funeral for the little girl.
“City of Ekurhuleni [sends] its sincere deepest condolence to the family of Gwam after losing one of their own‚” he said. “For the injured paramedic and Mrs Gwam‚ we wish them good health and speedy recovery because of this unforeseen tragic incident.”