'Hospital was negligent'

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The family of a KwaZulu-Natal man, who was found floating in the Durban Harbour three weeks ago after walking out of St Augustine's Hospital, has accused the institution of "pure negligence".

The family said it was dumbfounded that a patient could "walk out without anyone noticing".

They are now considering legal action as they await a full report from the hospital.

Shaun Govender, pictured, drowned three weeks ago.

At the time of his death, his family were under the impression he was still in hospital.

It is alleged Govender, 56, left the hospital and walked all the way to the harbour, several kilometres away, where he drowned.

His distraught son-in-law Noelan Soobramoney told Sowetan that they had faith in the private hospital, and expected it to take good care of their "father".

He said what was even sadder was that the hospital had not even called them to explain what really happened. "The hospital did not even call to say 'sorry' for the loss we suffered," said Soobramoney.

Govender went missing on October 10 between 11.30am and 12.30am. The police were only informed of his disappearance at 2.17pm.

His body was found two days later.

St Augustine's Hospital marketing officer, Leanne Nyiri, said the hospital did not want to alarm Govender's family unduly and therefore only contacted them once it had made certain he had indeed left the hospital.