Killers roam hospitals
CASE 1: Psychiatric patient strangles pensioner
SECURITY at Limpopo hospitals has come under heavy scrutiny after a psychiatric patient strangled a pensioner to death.
The incident happened at the WFKnobel Hospital in Moletji outside Polokwane at about 12.30am on Wednesday.
According to the police they received a report about a violent man at the Kgomo School Village in GaMatlala on Wednesday afternoon.
Spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Ronel Otto said they went to the village in the company of personnel from the emergency medical services to find a 34-year-old man wreaking havoc.
She said they managed to overpower the man and took him to the hospital, where he fell asleep at about midnight. The man allegedly woke up and became aggressive, according to Otto.
"According to reports the man chased away nurses and one of them managed to jump through the window and called for help," said Otto.
Sowetan learnt that when security guards, a doctor and staff members arrived, they found the man strangling a 65-year-old patient admitted in the same ward.
Otto said the mental patient also bit the pensioner several times on the stomach while throttling him. The man later died, apparently as a result of the strangling.
He was identified as Elias Makololo, 65, from GaRapitsi village in Moletji, who was admitted the same day as an ordinary patient.
Provincial MEC for health and social development Norman Mabasa yesterday expressed shock at the incident and said heads would roll.
He said he was worried about mixing mentally ill patients with ordinary ones.
"The fact that a patient died at the hands of another patient is worrisome.
"But that a mental patient was made to share a ward with ordinary patients is cause for concern," said an angry Mabasa.
He said he would institute an investigation into whether security at the institution was adequate or not, and also whether the system of handling mentally challenged patients was up to standard.
"We are going to look into whether there were enough security guards at the institution and also whether security was informed about (the presence) of a mental patient inside the institution," the MEC said.
Based on their findings, Mabasa said, "heads will roll".
Meanwhile, police said the culprit was charged with murder and would appear in the Matlala Periodical Court today.