A criminal investigation is underway after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another patient in a psychiatric ward at Stellenbosch Hospital.
According to IOL, the hospital has been accused of negligence and of trying to cover up the sexual assault after the matter was only reported to the teenager’s family days later. Initially, it was understood that the incident took place on September 16, but the child’s mother was later told that the assault had happened on September 23, as News24 reports. She was only informed on September 25.
Since then, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo visited the hospital on Thursday and met with the girl’s family, who requested to see firm action after receiving an apology from hospital management on behalf of Stellenbosch health workers.
“What is important is that the incident did happen as per confirmation by the clinician, also it involves a minor, also it involves another patient,” Mbombo explained as per EWN.
Cape Winelands District spokesperson Sandra Maritz said while police were investigating the incident they were also conducting an internal review of the matter. Part of this relates to figuring out the time lapse between when the incident took place and when the family was notified.
A peaceful demonstration was held outside the facility on Friday.