HIV-needle nurse has her fate put on legal ice

Sakhile Mokoena and Riot Hlatshwayo

Sakhile Mokoena and Riot Hlatshwayo

The sentencing of an Mpumalanga nurse, who injected her stepson with blood contaminated with HIV was put on hold yesterday to allow her lawyers time to prepare arguments in mitigation.

Victor Mathebula, the magistrate, postponed the sentencing to November 27 at the Mkhuhlu regional court.

The sentencing will now be heard at the Mhala regional court in Thulamahashe.

The court has also extended the R3000 bail for the nurse, whose name is known to Sowetan but can't be revealed to protect the child's identity.

The boy, now aged six, was in the crowded court accompanied by his mother.

The 34-year-old nurse, who worked at Matikwane hospital at the time of the incident, was found guilty of attempted murder after stealing blood from the hospital and injecting the child, who was visiting his father. The child's father lives with the nurse.

The child's biological mother said it did not matter how harsh a sentence the nurse got, it would not save her child from the incurable disease.

"She will only go in for attempted murder," she said.

"Will she be sentenced for murder when my child dies from the disease?"

An internal investigation earlier by the hospital had found the nurse not guilty of any crime.

The child was four- years-old at the time of the incident and was visiting his father when the nurse infected him.

When he returned to his mother he told her how his stepmother had injected him with something that looked like blood.

The mother became suspicious and took the child for a test, which came up negative.

Three months later, after more tests, the child was diagnosed HIV-positive.

Charges were then pressed against the nurse.