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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

‘Mysterious death of patient found in hospital ceiling must be probed’

26 October 2017

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has on Thursday urged South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the mysterious death of a 61-year-old patient who was found dead inside a Stellenbosch hospital ceiling.

SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu called for security to be beefed up at all Public hospitals, to avoid such incidents in future.
“It is unacceptable for a patient admitted to a public hospital to simply disappear without anyone taking responsibility for his disappearance or being answerable to their next of kin,” Mahlangu said.
According to the provincial health department, the man was admitted to Stellenbosch Hospital, Cape Town on October 5 and underwent abdominal surgery; however, the man disappeared while a nurse who was attending him left to fetch clean linen.
Western Cape Health Department spokesperson, Mark Van der Heever said upon realising the patient went missing, they immediately started a search party and the South African Police Services (SAPS) were unable to find him.

“Sadly, the patient’s body was discovered 13 days later in an isolated area in the ceiling, which is difficult to reach. There is currently construction work being carried out at the hospital which also contributed to the difficulty of the search.

“The circumstances relating to how the patient got access to the ceiling are currently being investigated,” Van der Heever said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Mahlangu said the incident must have opened wounds and painful reminder to the Makinye family that their loved one who disappeared mysteriously 15 years ago from Thusong Provincial Hospital in the North West Province is still unaccounted for them to find closure.
“The mystery surrounding the suspected death and burial of Steven Makinye who was a father of seven needs to be unravelled including how the body of a patient decomposed on hospital premises without anyone noticing,” concern Mahlangu added.

The New Age

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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