'King's bodyguards beat up man'
Nurse spat at, and security guard badly beaten
A security guard is in a serious condition after being severely assaulted by traditional councillors accompanying an Eastern Cape monarch on a hospital visit.
Red Alert security guard Thembile Mbulali, who is stationed at Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha, was beaten until unconscious during an altercation with six men who were with King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
The incident happened shortly after midnight on Monday while the king was visiting his wife and child, Queen Nokwanda Dalindyebo.
Red Alert Security Mthatha acting branch manager Shepherd Mtshemla said Dalindyebo and a group of six men arrived at the hospital at about 11.30pm on Sunday saying that they were bringing a blanket to his wife who was with their child who had been admitted.
It is believed the men accompanying the monarch were traditional councillors from AbaThembu.
“Apparently the king and his entourage delayed their stay at the ward and it was now after midnight and refused to leave,” Mtshemla said.
A female security guard, who was on duty that night, called one of her colleagues to assist removing the men from the ward.
“When Mbulali arrived, one of the men was spitting at the face of a nurse and later slapped her,” Mtshemla alleged.
He said Mbulali tried to intervene but the men overpowered him.
“The men were punching, kicked and strangling helpless Mbulali and additional security officer tried to assist. .”
The unconscious Mbulali was admitted at the hospital’s emergency ward in a serious condition and is under neurological observation. He is currently in the trauma unit at the high care ward.
Mtshemla said the king did not take part in the beatings, but did not intervene to stop.
“Instead he held the female officer aside and said that she must stay away from the fighting to avoid to be injured.”
However, the nurse on duty that night alleged it was the king himself who spat at her. She, however, denied being slapped and added she was handled roughly.
Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo has confirmed the assault on the security guard.
“This is an unfortunate incident. We are investigating the entire matter with a view to establish the facts,” said Kupelo. He added that the king’s men had apologised for the incident.
Mtshemla said a Red Alert supervisor had opened a case of assault at the Mthatha Central Police Station on behalf of Mbulali on Monday. Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela could not immediately comment on the matter, saying he was not aware of the incident. However, he promised to look into the matter.
Dalindyebo’s spokeswoman Phumla Matshaya also confirmed the altercation at the hospital but denied the king was involved.
“The king’s hands are clean. He has nothing to do with the beatings.”
Matshaya said the nurse had been disrespectful and used vulgar language when addressing the king and the other men.
“The security officer was equally provocative. Be that as may, we are not saying two wrongs make a right and we are not proud of the scenario. We are not defending any wrong doing and we apologise for the entire incident which happened in a public place,” she said.
The nurse, who said she has reported the matter to the nurses’ association, denied she had insulted the king or his men.
“If I have done something wrong, why [have] the king and his men apologised to me?”