Cancer patient alleges hospital rape
Jana van der Merwe, Volksblad
Bloemfontein - Authorities are investigating allegations that a 50-year-old terminally ill cancer patient was raped by a nurse in the National Hospital in Bloemfontein.
The woman said that during the rape in the oncology unit her mouth was gagged and her arms were held to her sides by a nurse.
The husband of the dying woman, who is in great pain, said the rape is “still a bitter pill to swallow”.
After the rape a week ago, his wife was transferred to a private hospital. She is gravely ill.
The woman became paralysed in the lower body after a growth was removed from her spine in July 2010. She is too weak for chemotherapy and receives morphine for the pain she suffers. Her husband said hospital staff blamed the morphine for his wife’s hallucinations.
She has, however, told police who her alleged rapist and his accomplice are, and DNA tests are being done. She was allegedly raped on the night of October 15.
Her husband said that when he made his routine visit on Sunday he could hear something was wrong.
“She initially told me she was okay, but I could see something bothered her,” he said.
Shortly after his visit she told a doctor and then her husband of the rape. He said neither the doctor nor senior nursing staff took her complaint seriously, and he had to lay a charge of rape.
Free State Health Department spokesperson Jabu Mbalula said he viewed the charge in a very serious light and the implicated staff members were told to stay at home “for their own safety”, pending the outcome of the tests.