The Stellenbosch Hospital has been accused of negligence and trying to cover up a sexual assault after a teenager receiving psychiatric treatment at the hospital was allegedly raped by another patient in the facility’s toilets.
Family spokesperson, Bianca Booysen, told the IOL that the incident occured on September 17, but the family was only informed nine days later.
“The teenager was admitted on September 11 at the hospital after she tried to commit suicide. This past Saturday a doctor called the mother saying there was a sexual incident that took place. A nurse caught another patient raping her daughter and the parents must visit the facility on Monday. Bear in mind the father visited the hospital on Friday but they failed to inform him about the incident. They waited until the next day and made a phone call.”
Booysen said that despite being told to visit on Monday the mother forcefully visited the facility on Sunday and was able to see her daughter and she confirmed the incident.
“We don’t understand why someone who was supposed to be on a suicide watch due to mental issues, was left alone,” Booysen said.
“To make matters worse, on Monday when we were at the hospital we discovered that the male patient was discharged and that hospital had not reported the incident immediately to police.”
“We also learned that a rape kit was not done. We don’t know what they are trying to hide. We are calling for a full investigation against the hospital. The hospital has failed the girl,” she added.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut confirmed that the Stellenbosch FCS are investigating the alleged rape of a 15-year-old girl after the matter was reported to police yesterday (Monday).
Traut said that no arrests have been made yet.
The Western Cape Health Department said it would provide the necessary support.
Cape Winelands District spokesperson Sandra Maritz said the department was aware of the incident and that it happened last Thursday.
“The incident was reported to SAPS for investigation and staff took action to ensure the safety of both individuals concerned, while reaching out to both patients’ families.
“Staff were able to reach the minor’s parents on September 25 and arranged to meet with the family in person. The department is working with SAPS to determine the circumstances around the incident and is committed to ensuring the well-being of its patients. Senior staff will stay in touch with the families and law enforcement. We are also offering support to the individuals concerned,” said Maritz.