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'abortion' clinic boss out on bail

A CLINIC owner who was arrested after an abortion was allegedly performed on a teenager without her consent appeared in court yesterday and is now out on bail.

A CLINIC owner who was arrested after an abortion was allegedly performed on a teenager without her consent appeared in court yesterday and is now out on bail.

Sowetan reported yesterday that Meriam Serefi, who runs The Rock Health Clinic in Johannesburg, was charged with the illegal termination of a pregnancy after a 17-year-old girl told police that staff at the clinic aborted her five-month-old foetus.

Serefi is now out on R5000 bail.

The teenager told police that her boyfriend, who is a police constable at the Wedela police station near Carletonville, North West, took her to the clinic under false pretences. He allegedly made her believe she was going for a sonar.

"It looks as if the boyfriend had made prior arrangements with the clinic to perform the abortion," the teenager's distraught mother told us. "On arrival my daughter was given abortion medicine. The nurses only told her about the abortion when she complained of labour pains. We then decided to open a case."

The mother claims that the boyfriend had offered to compensate her family for the girl's trauma.

"What hurt me most was when my daughter told police that the nurses had assaulted her because she refused to have her child killed. One of the nurses inserted a hand inside her and pulled the foetus out," she said.

Three nurses who work at the clinic were arrested on Friday. Anna Chakela, Ntshidisi Sedikane and Pona Mathibe spent the weekend in jail on a murder charge.

Serefi was only handed over to police by her lawyer, Given Mulaudzi, on Monday. The murder charges against the nurses were subsequently withdrawn while Serefi was held on illegal termination of pregnancy charges.

When Serefi, 54, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday, the prosecution proposed that she be remanded for a further seven days while they conducted further investigations. But Mulaudzi objected to the postponement and secured bail. She was ordered to surrender her passport.

The case was postponed to February 1.

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