Suspensions after hospital 'rape'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

The KwaZulu-Natal health department yesterday suspended a male nurse and the human resources manager of a Pietermaritzburg mental hospital after a former patient claimed she was raped while being treated at the institution.

The woman, 29, is now eight months pregnant after she was allegedly raped twice by the nurse the night before she was discharged from Town Hill Hospital.

The victim claimed she was raped in April this year.

KwaZulu-Natal health department spokesman Leon Mbanjwa said he met the victim yesterday. After interviewing her, it was decided that the two staffers at the hospital be suspended with immediate effect pending an internal disciplinary hearing.

"I can confirm that the woman was afraid to report the alleged incident. She feared she would be told that her condition had relapsed and sent back for psychiatric treatment.

"At the time of the alleged rape she was booked into a psychotherapy ward for functional patients," said Mbanjwa.

He said four weeks after returning home to KwaDukuza, the victim discovered that she was pregnant.

Mbanjwa said the families then agreed that the victim should live with the alleged rapist's family, but she left after three months.

"After talking to the victim, we discovered that the human resources manager was aware of this. There was even an attempt to cover up the case.

"After discussions with the hospital's chief executive, we decided to suspend the two staffers," said Mbanjwa.

The victim laid a rape charge on Thursday last week.