Inspiring news, Bheki Mlangeni Hospital performs its first heart surgery


By Mduduzi Malinga

Bheki Mlangeni is well known as one of the strategists in the youth liberation movement and is known to be one of the human rights lawyers born and bred in Jabulani, Soweto.

In the month of April 2015, in honour of the former struggle hero Bheki Mlangeni, former Premier David Makhura announced the renaming of Zola-Jabulani Hospital, a modern health facility, to the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital, by acknowledging his immense contribution to the struggle for national liberation.

The Zola – Jabulani Hospital was established in 2014, and the decision to construct the hospital was taken due to the need for a district hospital in the Soweto (South Western Townships) area, that could help relieve pressure from the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and further enhance access to health services.

On Thursday, 27 April 2023, the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital, made history by performing its first heart surgery. This was after an accident happened to a Grade 12 learner Tumisang Motsikwa, who was stabbed through the heart while trying to save another pupil from getting mugged. Tumisang was then rushed to the hospital by his deputy school principal.

When Tumisang arrived at the hospital, the Head of the Emergency Unit, Dr Shashriqua Palliam together with her team of nurses and doctors, attempted to save him. While doing so, they were also calling for help from the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital to receive the patient, as he was a priority one patient, due to his critical injury. They were advised that due to his injury it would be too risky to transfer him.

This is when the team took the decision to go ahead and operate on the patient, an operation that lasted just over an hour. He was later moved to ICU and finally discharged on Friday May 5th, after nine days in hospital.

In delivering his speech on the day the hospital was renamed, former Premiere David Makhura said, “Today, by re-naming this hospital in Bheki Mlangeni’s honour, we are turning the tragic event of his death into a moment of eternal celebration of his life. We are also today according to him, the status of the hero he truly was.”

The hospital is providing services to the north and western communities in Soweto which includes about eleven townships: Dobsonville, Emndeni, Meadowlands, Moletsane, Mofolo, Zola, Naledi, Tladi, Jabulani, Bram Fischerville and Protea.

It is moments like these that continue to be a proud reminder of who the people of this country are, what they represent and what this country is capable of achieving that showcases proof points of how we can hold our own and compete against the best in the world on medical excellence and prowess. We salute the brave doctors and nurses who saved a young man’s life.