The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the North West Province calls for the heads to roll at Mahikeng Provincial Hospital following the placing of new born babies in boxes instead of incubators or crib beds. 

The union finds it abhorrent that the management of the hospital could allow such an inhumane act to occur under their watch. This is a violation of the basic tenets of human dignity and human life. Section 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides for the right to human dignity: “Everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected”.

Human dignity is a central value of the objective, normative value system established by the Constitution. It is shocking that new born babies were placed in boxes instead of incubators or crib beds. It is totally unacceptable that new born babies would be placed in such an environment thereby placing and risking their lives. 

As NEHAWU, we call on the MEC of Health, Madoda Sambatha to place the CEO and management on suspension following this incident. We do not accept the explanation by the management that they were not aware of the situation unfolding in the hospital.

Equally, the province will be writing to the Health ombudsman to investigate the incident at the Provincial Hospital. As NEHAWU, we view this matter in serious light and we will not accept such inhumane acts to occur in our hospitals.

Lastly, we call on the MEC to address the worrying state of healthcare in the province and accelerate quality service delivery through the revitalisation of infrastructure, addressing matters relating to corruption, maladministration, nepotism, staff shortages, dilapidated healthcare infrastructure, shortage of medicines and food for patients.


Issued by NEHAWU North West Secretariat Office:

For more information, please contact: Ntombizodwa Moepeng(NEHAWU North West Provincial Secretary) at 018 381 4585 or 063 685 1911 or email: