RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth. Picture by Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durban - An elderly community activist and volunteer at the R.K.Khan hospital in Chatsworth is being held by hospital security guards for taking pictures at the troubled health facility on Thursday. 

Rynel Govender, RK Khan Action Committee spokesperson, said a member of Friends of R K Khan (FORK) made a desperate call to community activist Visvin Reddy. 

Rogers Govender of Montford is allegedly being held against his will by guards. 

His phone was subsequently taken away allegedly by the guards. 

The hospital made headlines recently after a patient was found by his family to have live maggots in his mouth. 

This caused an uproar in the community resulting in the formation of the R K Khan Action Committee to better the conditions in the hospital. 

Rynel said: "The committee demanded that the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health intervene by providing additional staff and resources. In response to the demands MEC, Nomagugu Simelani, moved long Serving hospital CEO, Dr. Prakash Subban and appointed Mrs C N N Mkhwanzi in his place."

Reddy said that after the meeting with the MEC, where a follow up meeting was to be held within two weeks, nothing had happened.

"Simelani undertook to meet with our committee within two weeks to provide us with feedback on her interventions but nothing has materialized since. The new CEO refuses to meet with us and ignores a legitimate structure within the community," Rynel said.

"I have been given assurances by the board representatives that there is much improvement at the hospital. This was also conformed by councillor Previn Vedan from ward 71, after meeting with the hospital CEO. I have no reason to doubt their credentials, however, community members are coming forward with disturbing accounts of what is really happening at the hospital. I hope that the management of the hospital is not doing a cover up of the real situation," Rynel added.

On Thursday morning Rynel claimed that she received a call from a former principal who was at the hospital. He told her that there is no improvement and patients are being poorly treated.

"It seems that the hospital is doing a PR exercise and is gagging the truth from being exposed. Rogers was taken in as though he is a criminal. His phone was confiscated and the photographs he took of the pathetic conditions at the hospital were removed. We view these underhand tactics as similar to that of the apartheid regime. In order to cover up gross violations they gagged the media and other activists from exposing the truth," Rynel said. 

Reddy said he will fight this and not rest until the truth is out.

"If you have nothing to hide, why behave this way?" said Reddy.

At the time of reporting, Govender was still at the hospital with security guards.

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