Pigsty Palace shock for student nurses

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Student nurses at Johannesburg Hospital found disgusting accommodation and aggressive staff occupying the flats allocated to them when they arrived in the city this week.

The four residence blocks - Ottobeit, Witwaters, Magalies and Fitzpatrick - are filthy and stink, loud music is played incessantly and unattended children run around screaming all the time, the students complain.

Vacant rooms are piled high with empty booze bottles and other rubbish.

Some of the rooms are bare because previous occupants took the hospital's furniture with them when they left, according to the hospital's public relations officer, Lungiswa Mvumvu.

The keys to some of the flats cannot be found.

Mvumvu confirmed that nurses and other personnel who were not entitled to live at the residences refused to vacate the flats.

"They have been given until the end of March [to leave], failing which appropriate measures will be considered," said Mvumvu.

"The empty rooms have just been vacated by the staff who heeded the call to leave.

"Some took the keys and furniture and a locksmith had to break the locks."

The matter came to a head when the first-year students reported to the hospital on Sunday. They had to be accommodated at the Helen Joseph Hospital until Tuesday because they could not take occupation of the flats allocated to them at the residences.

Some of the bachelor flats are shared by six to eight students and most of them do not have beds.

Mvumvu claimed the rooms would be cleaned and furnished - but the lifts don't work, the roof leaks and, except for the gate, there is no security system.