The Free State Department of Health disputes claims of a panga wielding man who threatened staff at Pelonomi Academic Hospital over the weekend.
According to Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi, an incident involving a man with a” dangerous object” was investigated and clarified as a misunderstanding.
“The security guards found the alleged perpetrator on his way to the Gate 3 exit and asked him why he was armed in a hospital. It is reported that the man calmly and apologetically explained to the security officers that his brother was involved in a fight over the weekend,” said Mvambi.
The man explained that he removed a walking stick from his brother’s car in order to avoid getting in trouble with the law over the fight that landed him at the public hospital. The brother was admitted to the casualty unit at the time.
“When interviewed further, the man said that he came to remove a ‘kiri’ not a ‘phanga’, from the car and went back into the hospital to give the keys to his brother. There is no evidence of an attack on any of our staff members,” stated Mvambi.
There have been reports that a man armed with a panga entered Pelonomi without being detected by security guards. It is said that he then threatened staff members before he was apprehended by security personnel on Saturday.
“It is worrying that people can make claims and not support them with evidence, but be bold to write a story on verbal claims,” Mvambi added.
People expressed shock after a female medical staff member bit off a man’s tongue as he attempted to rape her while she was sleeping in one of the overnight staff quarters, at the hospital last month. Nurses and doctors then went on strike the next day over safety concerns at the facility. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele