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Clinic closes as man is knifed to death in ward

Image: Stock Image

Sick people in a Gauteng township have been left stranded after a health care facility was forced to shut down at the weekend when a group of people attacked and killed a patient while medical staff were still operating on him.

The attack at the Alexandra Community Health Centre on Saturday, north of Johannesburg, was carried out by a group of people carrying an assortment of weapons including pangas and knives in full view of patients and children.

"There was a sea of blood in the ward where the patient was killed," Gauteng health spokesman Khutso Rabothata told Sowetan during an interview.

He said the attack had
outraged Gauteng health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa and left most of the facility's medical workers traumatised and wanting to quit.

"This incident occurred after a group of people followed a victim to our emergency facility and while the health workers were attending to that patient they started stabbing him to death. The staff (nurses, doctors and support) had to run for their lives and are greatly traumatised.

"The MEC met with staff members and they were crying at the meeting as they feel that they are not safe.

"At that time there were other patients, including children, who witnessed this senseless behavior and no doubt they have been left traumatised.

"We are deeply saddened by this senseless killing and we appeal to community members to help us protect health facilities, our personnel and patients" said Ramokgopa.

Rabothata said the facility was closed to allow law enforcement agents to conduct investigations.

He said he was hoping that services would be back to normal by today in the afternoon.

Rabothata urged community members to protect health facilities and refrain from having altercations there.

"We further call on the community to work with police in ensuring that suspects in this crime are apprehended. Police have been requested to have high visibility during this period and the department will ensure measures are taken to strengthen security services," said Ramokgopa.

Attempts to contact the police were fruitless.

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