Employee wounded in hospital shooting spree

Sibongile Mashaba and Kamogelo Seekoei

Sibongile Mashaba and Kamogelo Seekoei

A male patient was shot dead at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital yesterday and a female employee seriously injured after an unknown man went on a shooting spree.

The 35-year-old man was shot several times and died minutes later. The 52-year-old employee was shot several times. Police say they are baffled by how the man managed to gain access into the hospital with a gun.

Witnesses said they suspected that whoever shot the patient was there to finish him off. They also allege that the patient was involved in an armed robbery in Mulbarton on Sunday night. He was allegedly shot when a shoot-out ensued between a gang and police.

The gang had robbed a food chain and police caught up with them minutes later. One of the gang members was shot dead and another arrested. The gunman apparently entered the hospital during visiting hours. The gunman fired several shot and escaped undetected.

Gauteng hospitals are becoming dangerous because of a lack of security, said Democratic Alliance health spokesman Jack Bloom.

"Our hospitals should be havens of serenity where people can heal and be healed, not places of fear," said Bloom.

Soweto police spokesman Captain Philemon Khorombi said: "The patients in ward one are still traumatised by the whole incident. We will be questioning them and hopefully we will get an identikit."

On Sunday, a pregnant nurse was attacked by a patient's relative at the Pretoria Academic Hospital.

"The nurse was attending to the patient when she asked his cousin to get his file. That is when he attacked," said hospital spokesman Freda Kobo.

The man grabbed the nurse by her jersey and pushed her.

"She fell on top of the counter on her stomach. She was in pain and doctors were considering inducing delivery of her baby," said Kobo.

She said the hospital did not have any problem with security. Security guards had reacted swiftly and efficiently.

"If it were not for them that man would have done more damage than he did," said Kobo.

The Gauteng Health Department had failed to respond to requests for comment by the time of going to press yesterday.