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Heartbroken mom of slain New Somerset West Hospital patient speaks

A 32-year-old constable stationed at Sea Point police station died after being wounded in a shooting at New Somerset Hospital. Picture: Leon Knipe/African News Agency (ANA)

A 32-year-old constable stationed at Sea Point police station died after being wounded in a shooting at New Somerset Hospital. Picture: Leon Knipe/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 10, 2022


CAPE TOWN - Magrietta Carolus never thought it would be the last time she would see her 48-year-old son when she begged New Somerset West Hospital staff to see him after she arrived late due to the long distance she had to travel.

Four days after the 75-year-old St Helena Bay mother visited Geret Carolus, she received a devastating phone call from her son's partner that he had died on Saturday night.

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Drama unfolded at the hospital when a gun-toting man allegedly shot dead Geret,48, and another patient who had been sleeping on their beds following a commotion with another person at the surgery ward.

A 32-year-old police constable Donay Phillips, who had earlier entered the cubicle to try and intervene, was wounded and confirmed dead on Sunday.

The family of the other patient is still being traced as he is believed to have been homeless.

The alleged 40-year-old shooter who had just been discharged was remanded is expected to appear at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Cape Times on Monday, Carolus said her son, who had Bipola, was admitted at the hospital early last month due to a leg wound.

“He had been living with me in Laingville, St Helena Bay for nearly a year before his hospital stay due to his mental condition and was scheduled to have his leg amputated on Sunday because of diabetes. I’m grateful I was able to see him alive for the last time on Wednesday and speak with him. Sometimes he would be disoriented but that day he was fine and recognised me. My son's partner, who lives in Mitchells Plain, called to inform me that he was apparently attacked at the hospital. Only when I arrived at the facility on Sunday did the doctor tell me he had passed away after being shot,” said Carolus.

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She said it would have been better to accept her son's death if he had died on the operating table.

“My son has been taken away from me through murder. When I identified his body today it looked like he was sleeping. He looked like he was at peace. It was too hard for his partner to go. I gained the strength and courage through a prayer I did before leaving for the mortuary. Geret had three children he loved a lot and he loved his family. He was my only son, and I loved him a lot. He enjoyed singing and loved church worship songs,” she said.

The 48-year-old will be laid to rest this Saturday in Atlantis.

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Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) Western Cape chairperson Eleanor Roberts called for the tightening of security laws, especially as they pertained to the entry of armed police officers inside facilities designated as gun-free zones.

“The incident just lays bare the extent of risk that healthcare workers and patients are faced with when guns are allowed inside healthcare centres.”

Cape Times

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Related Topics:

Crime and courts