Nurse who returned R45 000 honoured

Durban - What would one do if one were to stumble upon a cool R45 500?

“Finders keepers,” most would probably say.

Staff nurse Nonhlanhla Fortunate Dladla receives a special award for integrity from Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo. Photo: Independent Newspapers. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

But not Nonhlanhla Fortunate Dladla, 31, a staff nurse at Northdale Hospital, who did the honourable thing and handed it to her manager.

For her act of integrity, Dladla was given a special award of recognition by the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department at the weekend during the commemoration of International Nurses’ Day at Durban’s Addington Hospital.

Dladla chose not to live up to her names (Nonhlanhla Fortunate), which mean luck, after finding the sum which belonged to a patient who had died at the Pietermaritzburg hospital.

When admitted, the 55-year-old patient, who cannot be named owing to a patient confidentiality policy, apparently told nurses that he had no valuables to put away for safekeeping. He later died while still at the hospital and two relatives came to claim his belongings a day later.

“He died on Saturday and they came on Monday to claim his belongings. They said they were fetching his plastic bag, which had his ID, saying that he always kept it under his pillow. We looked for it, but we couldn’t find it,” she said.

While clearing another bed later that day, she said, she found a jacket with a red plastic bag.

“I have never received an award for anything before, so this is really special. This is how my mother brought me up – to respect what’s not mine and return something if found.

“As a nurse, your job is to look after and care for the patients,” Dladla said.