Pelonomi attack suspect in dock this week

Justice in court. Picture: Twitter

The case against a 32-year-old suspect who’s accused of attempting to rape a 24-year-old intern doctor at Pelonomi Hospital is expected to be heard by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court this week.

Vice Olivier, from Bronville in Welkom, made a brief appearance in court on June 14 on a charge of attempted rape and the case was postponed to the 25th for further investigations.

He allegedly posed as a patient and tried to rape the 24-year-old intern doctor on the night of June the 4th while she was in one of the overnight staff quarters.

During the encounter, the doctor was able to overpower the suspect and bit part of his tongue off. After running off, the suspect was traced and arrested at National Hospital where he went for medical treatment. He remains in custody pending his next appearance.

The incident has since placed the safety and security of medical personnel and patients at healthcare facilities in the province under scrutiny.

New Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, provincial health MEC Montsheng Tsiu, and the University of the Free State have meanwhile confirmed that immediate interventions, which include beefed up security, more CCTV cameras, fixed security locks, and limited access control to the premises amongst other things, have been put in place at the Pelonomi Hospital.

Talks over other measures that need to be taken to tighten security at this hospital are still on-going between the academic institution, the health department and police.

Katleho Morapela / OFM News