89-year-old Limpopo pensioner, Mthavini Hlamazi Rikhotso is nursing injuries she sustained after she was allegedly beaten up by two nurses at a hospital. The reason for this assault and mass beating being that the old woman refused to be transferred from one bed to another as the nurses instructed.
The incident took place at the Letaba Hospital where the granny was admitted as a patient.
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Rikhotso narrated that on January 2, two nurses assaulted her physically with a broomstick. She had been admitted to the hospital for a case of high blood pressure.
“I was sleeping on the bed when two nurses at the hospital approached me to tell me to move from one bed to another. As I questioned why I was being moved, they started attacking me with a broomstick,” she said.
“I sustained multiple injuries on my back and doctors have also indicated I suffered internal bleeding. I’m still undergoing treatment [from] private doctors.”
She also said one of the nurses also gave her a “warm slap” during the assault, which has affected her hearing and even though she could not provide the nurses’ names, she could identify them.
Mthavini Hlamazi Rikhotso’s family told reporters they were worried that the matter will not be given deserved attention and no action would be taken against her attackers at the hospital in NkowaNkowa, near Tzaneen.
Rikhotso’s 30-year-old granddaughter, Bridgette Ngobeni, pointed out that she actually confronted the hospital management about her granny’s ordeal with the nurses but from all indications, it was clear that the perpetrators were being protected by management.
“I had no other option but to call the helpline at the provincial department of health to get assistance because my grandmother is in serious pain,” said Ngobeni.
Tzaneen police cluster spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed that a case of assault has been opened and investigations are going on.
“The difficulty is that the victim does not know her attackers, but we are still obtaining statements, working hand-in-hand with the hospital authorities,” he said.
“We will also conduct an ID parade at a later stage.”
Limpopo MEC for health Dr Phophi Ramathuba has expressed her disappointment at the incident. “If indeed our nurses were involved in the assault of a patient at our hospital, they must be dealt with harshly,” she said.
She said the provincial health department will take action on the matter depending on what the hospital reports.
In a contrary incident last year, it was reported that two nurses and a security guard were assaulted by a patient’s relatives in front of patients in ward 20 at Tembisa Hospital after they had not treated the patient well.
Rikhotso, who is still recovering from the injuries at her home village of Nkambako outside Letsitele, has opened a case of assault with the police.