Raped student has gone into hiding

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

The medical student who was raped at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital on Monday night has refused to be examined.

She has also gone into hiding and police have appealed to her to come forward to give a statement.

The hospital's chief executive, Arthur Manning, confirmed yesterday that the student had refused to be examined.

"She was checked for any other external injuries but [there was] no examination to determine the [extent of] the rape," said Manning.

Soweto police spokesman Superintedent Thembi Nkwashu said police were by yesterday afternoon not aware of her whereabouts.

"We don't know the whereabouts of the victim, though we have decided to open a case.

"For now we are investigating a case of rape but we need to get her statement in order for the docket to be complete," Nkwashu said.

She said the student might be fearing for her life. If that were so, police would protect her.

The student was allegedly attacked while on her way to the blood bank in the middle of the night. She is said to be too traumatised and was taken home by her parents.

The incident seems to have given the Gauteng health department a wake-up call.

From today a courier service will be responsible for ferrying blood from the bank, departmental spokesman Zanele Mngadi announced yesterday.

Mngadi said this was part of an improved security system the department had been working on for months now. Security systems were being reviewed and recommendations to improve security would be made.

"Currently the hospital employs its own security personnel as well as an external provider of security services doing mainly access control.

"We have identified areas that require additional lighting, and as from [today] we will use a courier service to transport blood. This will minimise movement by staff to the blood bank," Mngadi said.

The DA's Gauteng health spokesman, Jack Bloom, yesterday slammed the practice of sending medical students to do errands.

"How can you send a young female student in the middle of the night alone. The hospital is not sufficiently secured. Why not send her with someone?"

He said that since the incident many parents had raised security concerns with the hospital.