Eastern Cape Health Department superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe is due to send a team of officials today to investigate how a male patient had passed security, went inside a women’s ward and allegedly raped another patient.
The man, 28, was under 72-hour psychiatric evaluation at the Madzikane Kazulu Hospital in Mount Frere when the alleged rape took place on Saturday.
The rape suspect has been moved to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital.
The alleged rape took place just a few days after two incidents of violence inside hospital premises of the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha.
The rape allegedly took place at about 4am, when a nurse walked into a ward and found the man getting dressed.
The children of the woman, who had suffered from a mild stroke, were devastated to hear about their mother’s ordeal.
The man had reportedly also exposed himself to women in the hospital cafeteria and asked for sex. He also broke a window.
Speaking after a meeting with Madzikane Kazulu’s management, the woman’s son said: “The most shocking thing is that the nurses are stationed opposite the ward.
“It saddens us that we send loved ones to hospital thinking they will be safe, instead they are abused in such a way,” he said.
“It makes us lose hope in the government. We are even embarrassed to go back to our village.”
The man said his mother had been crying all Saturday, asking to be sent home.
“She is in a state. It is hard for us to leave her again,” he said. Health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo, who requested that the alleged rapist be moved to Nelson Mandela Academic, said: “The incident has shocked us. We will investigate.”
“The security guards should have reported the man’s conduct. The MEC will send a team to investigate how the rape occurred.
– Abongile Mgaqelwa