Family ties mentally sick girl to a tree

THE Mashao family in Ramatshaba village in Senwabarwana in Limpopo is pleading for help after their daughter, who is mentally retarded, threatened to kill them.

Their plea comes after nurses and doctors at the Helene Franz Hospital turned away the girl, saying she was "troublesome".

Since she was refused help at the hospital, Petunia Mashao spent the whole day tied with ropes onto a tree at her home.

Her mother, Christina, said yesterday that she had decided to tie her up so that she would not become a danger to them and the community.

Mashao had gone to the hospital last week with the hope that her daughter would be admitted or taken to an appropriate hospital.

But doctors and nurses allegedly chased her daughter away.

This happened after the girl had thrashed the dishes, glasses and furniture and chased around everyone, including people on the streets.

"She also swore at everyone that she was going to kill them," Mashao said.

"When we decided to take her back to the hospital, the officials told us that she was not welcomed there anymore."

Department of health and social development spokesperson Selby Makgotho said they were aware of the problem and that investigations were under way to establish why the girl was turned away from the hospital.

He said the department had also sent officials to the girl's house. They took her to the Mankweng Hospital where she is receiving treatment.

Makgotho said it was also wrong for parents to keep their mentally ill children behind closed doors or tie them up with ropes and chains when there are health institutions meant for such people.