Male nurse flees from sex abuse rap

2011-02-12 14:58

A male nurse is on the run after being suspended for allegedly sexually assaulting three pregnant women at a government hospital.

One of the women says the nurse at Standerton Hospital in Mpumalanga also raped her.

He is accused of having targeted each of the patients – one a high school pupil – in the ward on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, telling them he was monitoring their bleeding but inserting his fingers in their vaginas without first putting on surgical gloves.

One of the three patients, 33-year-old Sonto (not her real name), said the nurse raped her on Sunday night.

When she told female nurses about what had happened to her, they allegedly giggled and said “sorry”.

Sonto said the nurses did not call the police or report the incident to hospital management.

She is still not well but has insisted on being discharged. Unlike the other two alleged victims, Sonto reported the assault to police.

Mpho Gabashane, Mpumalanga health department spokesperson, said a matron was slapped with a final written warning for failing to report the incidents to management. He confirmed that three indecent sexual assault cases had been reported to the department.

Gabashane and Mpumalanga police, however, contradicted Sonto’s claims that she had been raped.

“It’s a regrettable incident and we will thoroughly investigate. The male nurse has been suspended and the matron given a written warning. Police might have to investigate why she concealed the crimes,” Gabashane said.

Visibly distraught, Sonto said she was no longer bleeding when the male nurse abused her for the first time.

“He left but when he came the second time, he raped me,” she said.

“In the morning I found him sitting on my bed when I came back from the shower, and he pestered me with questions, asking if I was afraid or had a husband. I did not talk back to him,” she said.

Sonto had not received any counselling when City Press spoke to her on Thursday, and she said the nurses also did not inform her that she should not have showered before a doctor had examined her.

The hospital did an HIV test only after the intervention of a Community Policing Forum member, she said.

Gabashane promised that the hospital would be contacted to provide Sonto with the necessary support, such as counselling.

The charge sheet lists only assault, not rape, but family members say Sonto was still upset when she laid the charge and will return, now that she is calmer, to amend her complaint.

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