The family of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped at Stellenbosch Hospital have demanded justice.
The family of a 15-year-old girl who was allegedly raped at Stellenbosch Hospital have demanded justice.

Police to probe alleged rape of girl, 15, at Stellenbosch Hospital

By Odwa Mkentane, Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - An internal investigation is expected into the alleged rape of a 15-year-old at Stellenbosch Hospital.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo on Thursday visited the hospital, which has been accused of negligence and of trying to cover up the sexual assault matter that happened on September 16 - by only informing the parents of the incident nine days later.

The teenager was admitted at the hospital after she tried to commit suicide.

Mbombo met with the minor’s family, while the hospital management has since apologised on behalf of Stellenbosch health workers.

“I was informed on Wednesday that a teenager who is a patient at the hospital was allegedly sexually assaulted by another patient. I asked for a report from the department which I received, hence the visit.

“But Wednesday night, my staff also engaged with the family.

“The incident did happen as per confirmation by a doctor.

“The other big issue the family had a problem with was communication from the hospital about the incident.”

Cape Winelands District spokesperson Sandra Maritz said while police were probing the incident they were also conducting an internal review of the matter and the circumstances of the incident.

Family spokesperson Bianca Booysen said a peaceful demonstration would be held outside the facility on Friday.

“We still have a lot of questions and we are hoping to see action soon. We don’t know if the truth would have come out if a nurse didn’t catch that patient in the act.”

Separately, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu on Thursday visited Rosendaal High School in Delft to create awareness around rape prevention and sexual violence.

She said the department would deploy more social workers to schools to educate pupils about teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and other social issues affecting communities.

Child rights activists have continued to express outrage at the shocking statistics that more than 23 000 Gauteng teenagers had fallen pregnant over the past year, while the Western Cape recorded more than 11 000 teenage pregnancies - 325 of these involving girls aged 10 to 14.

Among women aged 15 to 19, the figure is up from 10 773 to 11 342, and in the 10-14 age band the figure increased from 314 to 325 pregnancies recorded over the past 12 months.

Zulu said that, working closely with government departments and NGOs, she would make sure that social issues affecting the learners were reduced.

“As we were having a briefing with the principal of the school, they told us that the pregnancy rate has gone down at this school and that is because they constantly talk to them.

“Working with the Department of Basic Education and other departments, we need to make sure that each school has a qualified social worker and, as the department, it is a mandate for us to make sure that social workers are properly trained and are available in communities and schools,” Zulu said.

Cape Times

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