Claims of rape and cover-up at hospital

The Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital, in Jabulani, Soweto, has been in the spotlight after news emerged that a 16-year-old psychiatric patient was raped at the facility. Staff members and patients tell their story. Courtesy of #DStv403


SOWETO - Jobs for sale, nepotism and all-round corruption are some of the allegations made against Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital's CEO, Ruth Mabyana.

Mabyana has been placed on precautionary transfer while investigations into her alleged misconduct continue.

The hospital, in Jabulani, Soweto, has been in the spotlight after news emerged that a 16-year-old psychiatric patient was raped at the facility.

READ: Bheki Mlangeni Hospital CEO placed under precautionary transfer

A chilling message sent to a senior health official by an employee suggests that management at the Bheki Mlangeni hospital told staff who witnessed last week's alleged rape to change their statements.

It states that management told them to say that a16-year-old boy laid a complaint, that way, the case wouldn't be investigated because he's undergoing psychological treatment.

The next message states the incident is not the only rape at the facility.

Staff speaking out to eNCA on condition of anonymity describe working at the facility as "working in hell".
The staff member said, "where is our safety? What do they say about the safety of other patients? There are pregnant women there, the elderly… What about their safety?"

"We are not safe at that hospital. Things happen there. People die while we watch on. If two days go by without a death, its luck".

A patient admitted to the hospital after a car accident said psychiatric patients share the same casualty ward.

She said she had to wait approximately 16 hours in the shared ward before receiving medical assistance.

Sindi Makhoba said, "they would get up and walk around all over the place without anyone restricting them. There was one who started fighting with others. Taking people's cards. They were there and there was a lot of them. But because that day there was no doctor or nurse helping, it was the people who brought them to <the> hospital who were trying to restrict them".

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Others have described acts of intimidation by Mabyana who has now placed under precautionary transfer.

"Immediately, when you get in that hospital, the first thing you think about is to watch where you step so that you don't get disciplined or fired. We are living in fear, that one is a fact. Even our confidence is low, in a meeting you just sit there. You are afraid to raise an idea and they don't like it… you will be victimised. You will be a project," a staff member reported.

In May, Mabyana was suspended after a psychiatric patient allegedly stabbed an 85-year-old patient to death.

Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo has launched investigations into misconduct at the hospital  
and another into the alleged rape of a teenager.

Chief Director of Communications at the Gauteng Department of Health, Motalatale Modiba said, "we would like to urge anyone who might not feel comfortable with speaking with the internal teams to reach out to the SAPS or contact the office of the MEC directly so that we can get to the bottom of this incident".

Meanwhile, some in the community served by the hospital say they would rather die than to be admitted at the facility.


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