Bloemfontein – The rape of a Free State doctor at Pelonomi Hospital demonstrates the fast pace at which South Africa’s moral fibre is decaying, nurses’ union Denosa said on Tuesday.
Nurses in the province condemned the “horrendous act of rape” against a committed doctor, provincial secretary of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA, Veronica Fransman-Hendricks said.
“It is also worth noting that this barbaric act happened at the start of (the campaign) 16 Days of Activism against Violence and Abuse of Women and Children.” Hendricks said the health department should take urgent steps to restore sanity and safety at public hospitals.
A 16-year-old boy and two men, aged 24 and 29, appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court in connection with the rape on Monday. The case was postponed to November 9.
The doctor was on duty when she was overpowered by three men in a ward at the hospital early on Saturday morning. They allegedly forced her into a room. One of them supposedly hit her over the head with a brick. She lost consciousness and all three allegedly raped her.
Fransman-Hendricks said this was not the first case of a healthcare worker being attacked on the job.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) demanded an explanation from the health department as to why there was no adequate security at the hospital.
The union expected the law to take its course, and all those involved should face the full might of the law.
Nehawu said most public institutions, hospitals in particular, had suffered from years of under-budgeting and had chronic staff shortages, resulting in excessive workloads and public servants working in dilapidated, cold and unsafe buildings.