Live from the Court Room. Day 3

Natasha Bassingthwaighte, Dave Smuts and Linda Dumba-Chicalu are on the legal team representing the women.

Windhoek High Court.
03 June 2010

11h57 – There are more supporters in the room today than on any other day. The defense is currently cross-examining the second plaintiff.

12h030 – The defense is asking the plaintiff questions about her health passport. The plaintiff reports that on her visits to antenatal clinic she was not told about sterilisation.

12h47 – The defense argues that the passport indicates family planning information was given, but plaintiff argues this did not include sterilisation. Plaintiff claims: On Dec 6 she spoke to a doctor who told her that since her last baby was delivered by C-section and because the baby was in a bridge position she would be having a… C-section, and that because she was HIV positive she would also be sterilised. Plaintiff reports the doctor did not tell her that she would not be able to have children after the surgery. She reports that the doctor told her if she wanted to be booked for the C-section she must agree to be sterilised.

“I had to agree because the doctor told me if I did not he would not book me for the C-section.”

12h54 – The plaintiff said that at Katutura State Hospital patients do not have the right to question doctors or nurses. The judge asked the plaintiff why is this the case at Katutura Hospital and she reported, “If you dare ask nurse or doctor they shout at you amongst the people… You will be ashamed because they will be shouting at you amongst other patients.”

14h30 – The defense asked the plaintiff how the doctor was forceful with her. She replied, “Even if the person is not shouting, you understand when they are speaking in a rude manner.” Defense asked, “If someone is speaking in rude manner, you will just back down?” Plaintiff responded that she will not allow someone to be rude…

14h40 – Defense asked if the plaintiff told anyone that the doctor wanted to sterilise her, or if she asked to see a different doctor. She reported that she did not. “In public hospital a patient has no rights to ask for another doctor.”

16h00 – Second plaintiff steps leaves the witness box. The lawyers ask for more time for the case to be heard. The case is postponed until 01 September 2010-10 September 2010.


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