Lelatisitswe Ignores BONU Demands 

  • Assistant health minister yet to apologise for controversial social media post
  • Union has accused Lelatisitswe of encouraging members of the public to abuse nurses
  • Off-duty nurse attacked at Kgotla meeting for failing to attend to a sick child


The Assistant Minister of Health, Sethomo Lelatisitswe, has ignored demands to apologise to nurses for a controversial social media post that he recently shared, the Secretary General of BONU, Lebogang Phillip, has said.

In the wake of the social media post that featured a nurse being attacked by the members of the community in a kgotla meeting in Lelatisitswe’s constituency of Boteti East for allegedly refusing to attend to a child after hours, Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) demanded an apology from the junior minister.

The apology was to be shared in the same platform or the union would report him to its federation to have him classified as an enemy of workers.

A month later

To exacerbate the union’s frustrations, Lelatisitswe accused the nurse who was attacked at the kgotla of refusing to give medical attention to a child after hours. “A nurse refused to help a child after hours while enjoying overtime allowance,” the junior minister posted on social media.

According to Phillip, nearly a month after the post was made, the assistant minister has ignored their request. “The assistant minister has not apologised despite our request,” said Phillip.

“We wanted him to apologise publicly in the same platform he used to attack the nursing fraternity because he tarnished our professional image. His post showed how he feels about the nurses.

Post removed

But Phillip added that they appreciate the fact that the assistant minister has “at least” removed the post. “This alone showed that the letter of demand we wrote to him made some impact,” he said.

In the letter to the Lelatisitswe, BONU also accused him of encouraging the public to abuse nurses during their rest periods. “It is embarrassing that your ministry failed to provide a safe and secure environment for nurses across the country, yet you have the guts to publish a video that ridicules nurses,” the union wrote.

Lelatisitswe did not respond to Gazette enquiries sent through WhatsApp and texted messages to his mobile phone.