MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku visited Martha Marais at her home.
MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku visited Martha Marais at her home.

Family of granny chained at Mamelodi hospital still waiting for answers

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Jul 6, 2019

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Pretoria - The investigation into the Mamelodi Day Hospital incident where Martha Marais, 76, was cuffed to a bench is expected to conclude by the end of July. 

This is according to Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku, who visited the family at their Eersterust home on Thursday night. This comes after they said it had been a month with no word from authorities.

The family accused provincial health officials of making empty promises.

During the follow-up visit, Masuku reassured the family that the department would continue providing the necessary assistance to Marais.

Initially, the investigation was supposed to take 30 days, after the incident occurred in June. But head of the department, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele, pleaded for more time. Present at the meeting was a representative from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Gauteng.

Masuku assured the family, in the presence of the SAHRC, that the patient would receive quality medical and emotional counselling at Steve Biko Academic Hospital and not Mamelodi Hospital where the incident happened.

Masuku will also engage MEC for Social Development in Gauteng Nandi Mayathula-Khoza to request her to intervene with regard to Marais’s South African Social Security Agency Service needs. 

“As a department, we remain committed in ensuring that our citizens receive quality healthcare and are treated with dignity when visiting our facilities.

"We are committed to ensuring openness and transparency in our dealings. We are eager to work with all the stakeholders including Chapter 9 institutions,” said Masuku.

The SAHRC indicated that it would not litigate against the department on behalf of Mariais, but rather the matter would go through a mediation process, facilitated by the commission.

Provincial manager Buang Jones said the SAHRC wanted Marais to receive compensation.

He also promised to bring the perpetrators to book. Recently a doctor was implicated in addition to two of his colleagues, a nurse and a security guard.

They were placed on special leave pending investigations. This brings the tally to five.

According to the family, Marais was deeply traumatised by the incident and often suffered from nightmares.Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler said Marais only received one visit by a psychologist.

Last week, during a surprise visit, Premier David Makhura, compared the hospital to a state of a mortuary.

He was reacting to bitter complaints by patients about poor services and a lack of respect from the hospital staff.

Pretoria News

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