Cape Town – Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has condemned the kidnapping, robbery and rape of a newly appointed nurse in Limpopo and urged community members to help the police arrest the perpetrator.
The newly appointed nurse was allegedly on her way to work at Madumane Clinic in Tzaneen on Tuesday when the incident occurred, said Ramathuba’s spokesperson Thilivhali Muavha.
“As it was dark, she allegedly requested the taxi driver to drop her at the clinic but the driver refused. A few moments after disembarking, an unknown man accosted her, dragged her into the bush where he assaulted and raped her before making off with her belongings. The victim managed to crawl to nearby households for help,” said Muavha.
The nurse was admitted to hospital with a fracture where she underwent an operation.
Ramathuba said such an incident was a “serious setback” in efforts to have clinics operational for 24 hours in the province.
She said at this rate, the province will struggle to get skilled personnel to work in their facility because “it will be seen as a big risk”.
“We have just employed an army of nurses, with most placed in primary healthcare facilities with the intention to restore the 24-hour function, but issues of crime on healthcare workers have been a big threat. We condemn this act and call on community members to help the police arrest this criminal,” she said.
She called on community members to help the police find and “arrest this criminal”.
Meanwhile the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Limpopo said it was disgusted by the incident and called on the police to ensure that the perpetrator is arrested before many nurses leave the clinic for safer areas.
“Denosa calls on both the Department of Health to ensure that the affected nurse gets the necessary psychological counseling after she has been discharged from the hospital and for the South African Police Services (SAPS) to expedite its investigation to ensure that the perpetrator is apprehended before many nurses from the clinic leave the clinic for other safe areas,” said Denosa
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe