Table View family want answers after son’s death at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Nov 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A Table View family are in shock and say they have been left with more questions than answers, following the alleged murder of their son at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital, just over a month ago.

The father of the 33-year-old deceased man, who asked not to be named while the investigation is ongoing, said they have not gotten any answers from the hospital, police, and Health Department, despite his numerous enquiries.

According to the father, his son was allegedly murdered on October 4, at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital, after being admitted following a bipolar manic relapse.

“My son was transferred from New Somerset Hospital to Valkenberg hospital, following a consultation to get stabilised. He was admitted in a male high care ward and, after a week, myself and my wife were informed by his doctor that they were battling to get him to respond to his medication. I was given a script for new medication not available to state hospitals and this was administered to him.

“The morning of October 4, we were asked to bring him some luxuries, as we were not able to visit him, and we had taken it to the hospital. I still spoke to him on the phone that morning at about 10am and his voice sounded very croaky. Later that day, we got a call that my son was attacked in the ward at about 2pm and were asked to go to the hospital immediately,” said the grieving father.

When the parents arrived, they were informed by three staff members of an “incident in the ward” and that their son had died as a result.

“They had blatantly lied to us. They told us that after patient lunch time, they made sure that none of the patients would go lie down, but we were told (our son) went to lie down. When we went to look at him, he was lying on the floor. He was left lying on the floor like a animal.

“We have met with the hospital when we were told that an inquest docket was being investigated but, since then, the investigating officer on the case confirmed that a murder docket is being investigated after they viewed CCTV footage. But, so far, nobody wants to tell us exactly what had happened and how my son was murdered. We were told at the beginning that nothing would be swept under the carpet but, at this stage, it seems that is the case,” the father said.

According to the father, they were informed by SAPS that a suspect had been identified.

“The perpetrator was identified by CCTV footage, he was also tested and it was confirmed that he is fit to stand trial. That is all we know at this stage, but we also haven’t been told who the perpetrator is and what he did that resulted in the murder of my son,” the father said.

Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said: “Maitland police opened an inquest case docket following the death of a 33-year-old male at a hospital. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated. A post-mortem was conducted to determine the cause of death.”

Further enquiries about the cause of death were not answered.

Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever, said: “We are working with SAPS currently, who came to the hospital on Monday for the last statements. We are aware of the alleged incident and are working with SAPS to establish the facts relating to the incident. His parents have also been engaged already by the hospital team.

“In general, the cause of death will be made known to SAPS, who then need to liaise with the family when it is a SAPS investigation. All available information, including CCTV footage, will be shared with SAPS to inform their investigation,” said Van der Heever.

Cape Times

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