Security still slack after hospital rape

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IOL Helen Joseph THE STAR Entrance to the Helen Joseph Hospital. File photo: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - The nurse who was attacked inside Helen Joseph Hospital has reportedly confirmed she was raped - but the Health Department remained silent over the claim on Wednesday.

On Friday, the nurse, who worked in the National Health Laboratory Services section of the hospital, was attacked by a man wearing pantyhose over his head.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that the attacker demanded money before raping her.

“I even told him, ‘But I’m HIV-positive, how can you rape an HIV-positive (person)?’,” the 48-year-old mother-of-one reportedly told EWN.

“He said ‘I don’t want to see your face’.”

She reportedly told EWN that the ordeal, in which she said she was also shocked and beaten, lasted about an hour and she eventually had to play dead to make him stop.

On Tuesday, the department issued a statement saying there had been a “brutal attack”, but it has been silent over the issue of rape.

Repeated attempts to reach department spokesman Prince Hamnca for comment about the rape on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

In his statement on Tuesday, Hamnca said security at the hospital had been increased following the attack.

However, hospital staff have rejected this assertion.

Another man whose wife works at the hospital said he visited the institution at the weekend and was shocked by the poor security.

He said he asked a guard at the entrance whether he could go through the inside of the hospital to the casualty ward, and the guard allegedly said there were “guys who could take your phone and wallet”.

“I was completely shocked by that response,” he said.

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