Damning report on security gaps in Gauteng hospital sexual assault cases

A damning report by the Gauteng Health Department has identified security gaps at the three hospitals where mental health patients were allegedly sexually assaulted.

The following security gaps at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg, Tara and Bheki Mlangeni hospitals were identified in the report which was presented yesterday to the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee:

1. The areas for mental health users were not suitable to admit them.

2. There was insufficient to no security interventions.

3. Where security interventions were done, the areas where incidents directly happened do not allow for intruding on patients’ privacies e.g. when the mental patients are at the toilet.

4. The mental patient who alleged that he was raped cannot give a good explanation of events due to the nature of his mental status.

In the case of another alleged rape which was at the Stanza Bopape Clinic and involved a staff member and a male patient, the staff member was suspended immediately and SAPS was involved. A Chairperson was appointed by the Office of the Premier and the hearing was supposed to happen on 5 November.