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FOR ALMOST two weeks, a jilted lover evaded arrest after he stabbed his student nurse girlfriend 10 times at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.
Ben Novela, 38, handed himself over to the police yesterday after negotiations lasting almost a week with The Star, sister to the Pretoria News.
The newspaper had been contacted by Novela’s uncle, who asked that it help negotiate Novela’s handing himself over.
Novela, from Orlando East, Soweto, reported to the Jabulani police station at lunchtime yesterday.
Visibly agitated, Novela came armed with a plastic bag containing items he said were proof that the nurse had been “cheating” on him.
He told the police that he had not planned to stab the nurse.
He said he had merely gone to the hospital to seek an explanation about the nurse’s infidelity and he had stabbed her in a fit of rage.
This was after she had screamed, he said.
“I just went mad with anger,” said Novela, who lost his job as a security guard at a private company.
The nurse was admitted to Milpark Hospital and has since been discharged.
Milpark Hospital spokeswoman Erin Walsh said she could not disclose the condition of the nurse because of “patient-doctor confidentiality”.
Novela said he and the nurse were in a “love relationship” although both of them were married. He said he had waited for the nurse at the hospital’s main entrance to talk to her. He became angry when he saw her driving into the hospital grounds with the man he said he knew to be her lover. The man and the nurse, he alleged, were involved in a plot to kidnap and murder him.
Asked how he gained access to the hospital with a knife, Novela said: “I told the security that I was taking an envelope to the occupants of the car.
“They did not stop me. I then ran parallel to the car until it stopped near the ward.”
Novela’s unhindered entry into the hospital raised concerns about the security and the safety of staff, with medics expressing outrage about working in dangerous circumstances.
A few days earlier, a patient at the hospital stabbed five fellow patients and a doctor.
As Novela was shown into a police vehicle, he handed his cellphone to an unidentified friend.
Police spokesman Kay Makhubela said Novela was being held at the Diepkloof police station. He would appear in court soon.
Gauteng Health Department spokesman Simon Zwane said: “We welcome the arrest. Domestic conflict was brought to the workplace.”