Monkeys go ape at hospital

2010-05-23 10:54

State hospitals are

known for their staff shortages, cash crunches and bad food – and now there is

monkey business...

The feisty critters have ­practically taken over the Letaba

Hospital outside Tzaneen in Limpopo, where they harass ­patients and


The monkeys often enter the ­hospital and steal food.

One hospital clerk said: “They behave like ­humans. One day they

entered my office and took a loaf of bread.”

When City Press visited the hospital this week more than 10 monkeys

were hanging from a tree inside the yard. Some of them were chasing each other

around while others scaled the hospital’s concrete fence.

On our first visit about two weeks ago we found five ­monkeys

playing on top of luxury cars in the parking lot between doctors’ homes and the

­hospital’s dispensary unit.

Selina Seemela, a patient at the hospital, said at night the

­monkeys entered the wards through a window.

Another patient said the ­monkeys loved the ­apples and bananas in

the wards.

Now staff are fed up and have appealed to authorities to catch and

relocate the monkeys.

Provincial health department spokesperson Roleta Lebelo said they

were aware of the ­monkey business but denied that

the monkeys ever entered wards and ­offices.

She said the department would look into the matter.

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