Cape Town - Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo has apologised on behalf of Stellenbosch health workers after the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl at the facility.
According to reports, the hospital has been accused of negligence and trying to cover up the sexual assault. The teenager was allegedly raped in a psychiatric ward by another patient.
Mbombo said she got to know about the incident yesterday.
“A child who is a patient was allegedly raped by another patient and we heard about it through media queries, and I always try to avoid talking about patients, but I’ve asked the department for a report,” she said.
She said a doctor had confirmed that a patient had raped the minor.
Mbombo said she had visited the hospital so that she could meet the family. The family had complained about the lack of communication from the hospital.
The MEC acknowledged that there was a lapse in communication, adding that that was part of the investigation.
She said that as health professionals, they were trained to do no harm.
“The mere fact that it happened at our doorstep has shaken even the health professionals, and we apologise.”
Mbombo said lessons could be learnt from the incident to ensure it did not happen again.
She said the police were investigating, so the way the matter was handled was crucial as it involved the vulnerable.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said the matter was under investigation and there were no developments.