'Mentally ill man beaten up by nurse'
A CASE of assault has been opened against a nurse for allegedly beating up a handcuffed and mentally ill patient with a baton.
The incident is said to have happened in August when the senior nurse at Jubilee Hospital's crisis centre in Hammanskraal allegedly assaulted Thato Mahlangu, 34, who had gone to the hospital for an examination.
Mahlangu, who is a schizophrenic and glue addict, has been an outpatient at the centre since 1999. He was due to go to a rehab centre in Mafikeng when the assault took place.
According to witnesses, the nurse had accused Thato of stealing her cellphone and the centre's iron during one of his previous visits.
When he visited the hospital again on August 11 for a check-up, four security guards apprehended him and handcuffed him, before handing him over to the nurse, whose name is known to the Sowetan. The police were then called.
Said a witness: "While they were waiting for the police, the nurse started hitting the patient in the face with a diary.
"He got upset and spat in her face.
"That's when she lost it and grabbed a baton from one of the the security guards and started assaulting him all over his body, including his private parts.
"The security guards just stood there in shock. The patient could not do anything to protect himself as he was handcuffed."
When the police arrived they took the patient to the casualty ward, where he was allegedly sedated but did not arrest him.
The witness said the patient later woke up and went home.
His mother, Angelina, said he sustained a swollen elbow and other scars on his body.
Mahlangu was later admitted at a rehab centre in Mahikeng.
"I don't understand why a professional nurse would do such a thing to a mentally disturbed patient," Angelina said.
Temba police station commissioner Brigadier Rene Mulder confirmed that a case of assault had been opened against the nurse, who would not comment.
Jubilee Hospital CEO Damario Magano also refused to comment on whether the hospital would take any action against the nurse.