Health minister visits intern after Pelonomi attack

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The HOD of the Free State Department of health, Dr David Motau, the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, and the Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, speaking to journalists at Pelonomi Hospital this morning. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

The newly appointed Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, is this morning visiting the family of a 24-year-old intern doctor, following an attempted rape at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.
The young doctor bit off a man’s tongue as he attempted to rape her while she was in one of the overnight staff quarters on Tuesday. This has sent shockwaves across the country with many questioning the quality of security and safety at government institutions.
Nurses at this hospital on Wednesday morning embarked on a protest to raise their concerns over a lack of safety at the hospital. The incident was not the first one, following a rape case that was reported in 2010, where a 35-year-old doctor, who was specialising in paediatrics, was hit over the head with a brick and raped by a suspect who was at that time only 16 years old.
The 35-year-old doctor was heading for the neo-natal unit on the ground floor at about 02:00 when the accused overpowered her on a dark staircase and raped her.
OFM News’ Katleho Morapela reports from the Pelonomi Hospital that Mkhize is expected to address personnel at the hospital after his meeting with the family.
Safety issues and a lack of resources at the hospital are amongst some of the issues expected to be raised by employees when Mkhize engages them.
The hospital has for years been in the spotlight for inadequate resources and staff shortages. Opposition parties have, in the meantime, said MEC Motsheng Tsui must account for the incident as this was not the first incident and that the department must have beefed up security following the 2010 incident. – OFM News