Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Jabulani, Soweto, was thrust into pandemonium on Monday morning as smoke billowed from one of the rooms.
Shortly after daybreak, an emergency evacuation procedure was implemented at the District Hospital. According to eyewitnesses on the scene, fears over a fire within one of the wards led to panic and the subsequent evacuation of all patients.
— Cojems Spokesperson (@RobertMulaudzi) May 20, 2019
— EFFJoziGroundForces (@Effgroundforces) May 20, 2019
Bheki Mlangeni hospital in Jabulani is on fire, we wish saftey to all patients, nurses and everyone in that hospital. pic.twitter.com/gerRG1u0PJ
— EFFward34Soweto. (@EFFward34) May 20, 2019
Robert Mulaudzi, Spokesperson for the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services, confirmed that firefighters were dispatched to Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital.
According to Mulaudzi, the blaze started in the administration block of the hospital. Thankfully, no injuries or fatalities have been reported. Emergency services are still on the scene attending to the fire, which, as reported by Mulaudzi, has been brought under control.
This is a developing story – more information will be added as soon as details of the incident are confirmed.
Patients are being transferred to different hospitals from Bheki Mlangeni district hospital in Jabulani, it’s alleged a fire broke out at one of the rooms at the hospital. M.M pic.twitter.com/GE9ZxWwnRw
— Jozi FM (@jozifm) May 20, 2019
Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital: A controversial history
Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, with the latest fire only adding to the health department’s long list of headache-inducing controversies.
In 2018, the Gauteng Health Department uncovered a jobs-for-cash scheme operating within the hospital. Gauteng Health MEC, Gwen Ramakgopa, confirmed that over 100 employees were implicated in the scam. Bizarrely, the scheme involved trained assassins which were hired to murder the hospital’s CEO.
Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital, which was built to handle the spillover of patients from Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, has also come under fierce scrutiny for its unsanitary and generally unhelpful environment.
Reports of patients being turned away for ‘insufficient admission fees’ have been the subject of internal investigations. A lack of beds and hospital personnel have also led to complaints and even minor protests.