King Vha-venda, Toni Mphephu Ramabulana during his birthday celebration. Photo by Zwavhudi Tshisudzungwane

By: Zwavhudi Tshisudzungwane

King Vha-venda, Toni Mphephu Ramabulana during his birthday celebration on Saturday urged Vha-venda speaking people to join hands in fighting discrimination and abuse against people who are mentally disturbed.

“A leader should lead by example, I am here to celebrate my birthday with these people to show them that we love them and they are still important members of the community and part of our lives,” he said.

“It is with great pleasure that I am celebrating my birthday with these special people today,” those were the words by Vha-venda king

His majesty Toni Mphephu Ramabulana celebrated his birthday on Saturday at Hayani Hospital in Sibasa outside Thohoyandou.

King Ramabulana said psychiatric patients played a vital role in protecting the king and chiefs many years back.

“We need them in our communities because some years back, these people used to warn and alert our king and chiefs in the community if there are any danger planned against them,” added Ramabulana.

The king called upon the community to treat psychiatric patients with care and respect.

“It pains me that most of these mental disturbed patients are afraid to face  people because communities call them with names, mocking, neglecting and discriminating against them,” he said.

Limpopo department of health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba expressed her gratitude that Vha-venda king took his precious time and come to celebrate his birthday at Hayani hospital.


MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba. Photo by Zwavhudi Tshisudzungwane

“I agree with our king that no one should discriminate our patients, because they didn’t choose to be in the state that they are now but  they were born like this,” said Ramathuba.

She urged the families of the psychiatric patients at Hayani hospital to regularly visit them and not neglect them.

“This is not their permanent home, and it is the family responsibility to check their family member if there are any progress,” she added.

The MEC concluded by saying the  king led by example and it is up to the community to follow his steps and stop the discrimination towards psychiatric patients.

Edited by Rhandzu Hlungwane