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Booster jab death case goes to court

SA woman sues gov’t over son’s demise after forced booster jab

The grieving mother of the South African man who died after taking a mandatory covid-19 booster jab at the border three weeks ago has taken government to court over her son’s death.

Through her lawyers, Dingake Law partners, Lucia Mbonani has not only demanded court to compel government to bear both repatriation of the body and funeral costs but to also provide monetary care and support Bongani was providing as a breadwinner.

Mbonani has indicated that what the family needed from the Botswana government were “costs of caring for Bongani’s clinically-depressed brother, Thokozani, whom Bongani cared for, child maintenance and support for Bongani’s child, as well as payment of school fees for Bongani’s son up to university level.”

In an affidavit filed in court, the devastated mother has also asked the court to direct Botswana to provide her with medical forms filled before vaccination of her son, as well as vital readings before the vaccination was administered.

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Some of the information she wants divulged to the family include “proof of type, date of manufactory and expiry date of the vaccine, names of the medical officer, date, time and condition of her son when he arrived at princess Marina hospital and later Gaborone Private hospital (GPH) where he died, as well as radiology images at both hospitals.”

So far, her demands have been granted by Gaborone High Court Judge, Abednego Tafa, who has directed government to provide the grieving woman with all the documents she has asked for.

The urgent court case was filed after what she has detailed in her affidavit as mistreatment and cruelty from the Botswana government when dealing with her son, whom she said would be alive if he had not been forced to take the Covid-19 booster jab.

Speaking about her son’s last days, Mbonani said that on March 16th, 2020, she was informed that there had not been any change in the medical condition of her son and that a decision was taken to refer him back to Princess Marina hospital from GPH.

“The following day, that being 17th March, 2022 before the deceased passed on, I was called to the 5th respondent (Hospital manager (GPH) and informed that the deceased’s vital signs were dropping at an alarming rate. To date, I have not been appraised as to how his vitals were before they dropped significantly, leading to his death,” reads her affidavit.

The concerned mother continued to tell the court that although the cause of death was recorded to be brain hemorrhage, it has not been explained to her how that could have happened medically, especially following the deceased’s vaccination at the Tlokweng border post.

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“There has not been any indication thus far controverting the deceased’s fitness before the vaccine was administered but it remains trite that the impact that the vaccine had on the deceased’s body has had devastating effects,” states Mbonani’s affidavit.

She has further argued that the lack of disclosure of the sought materials also means that the family is unable to inform themselves on what could have truly happened to their dear child and deprives them of solace they could gain in knowing the cause of his death.

She has since engaged a private pathologist.

For their part, government, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Health and Wellness, Grace Muzila, has asked the family to provide all medical documents of the deceased since birth.

“The Government of Botswana would like to have both a general and forensic pathologist to carry out the autopsy, thus an inquest docket needs to be opened. The pathologists envisaged to undertake the post-mortem examination have further requested that they be furnished with the deceased person’s medical record from birth, so that all relevant examinations are carried out during autopsy,” government has said in their answering affidavit.

Meanwhile, soon after Mbonani’s death, government stopped the controversial mandatory vaccination at the border after it had been in effect for hardly a month.

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