Home for aged in legal battle to stay open

2010-07-01 00:00

A HOME for the aged and chronically ill in Kranskop is fighting a legal battle in the high court against the Social Development Department, following a decision taken in April to close the facility.

An interim interdict, which was extended yesterday to July 25, is currently in place to prevent the facility’s closure pending the outcome of a review of the decision.

The department’s action is alleged to have been based on grounds that there is a lack of nursing care, lack of or “grossly inadequate” food for the residents, and that the facility is “unhygienic”.

These allegations, “strenuously denied” in court papers filed on behalf of the Masikane Christian Care Centre, which is registered to accommodate 50 people, are contained in a document notifying the centre of the decision taken to withraw its certificate of registration.

In an earlier letter the department noted that the facility did not have the services of a professional nurse or staff nurse; that there was “very limited nursing care” when the majority of the elderly residents are frail or disabled; that medicine cabinets were not locked or appropriately administered; that the environment was “dirty”; the ablution facilities were inadequate for the number of residents and not in working order; and the menu was not followed; that the groceries were insufficient for the needs of residents.

The centre has obtained an interim interdict against the national minister and KZN MEC for Social Development, which prevents the closure of the establishment or removal of its occupants pending the finalisation of a review of the departments decision to close it down.

In his affidavit, Masikane executive committee chairperson Mbongeni Simelane said, prior to the decision taken by the department, the centre received no other notice of any intention to cancel or amend its certificate of registration.

The centre received communication of the decision on April 26.

He said officials of the KZN Social Development department visited the centre’s facilities between August last year and March this year. During this period, the department noted “concerns” regarding some aspects and felt that the facility should be upgraded. A “facility development plan” was devised in September and October last year to deal with these matters within specified time frames.

“The applicant [Masikane] complied with most of the actions that had to be taken prior to or on March 31, 2010,” said Simelane.

He said those aspects not complied with were due to delays caused by the involvement of third parties, and are still being dealt with.

Simelane said the residents in the home do not want to be moved, and many of their families are also “extremely unhappy” with the department’s intention to move their relatives.

He said that, on April 30, employees of the department removed a Mrs Mthembu from the home and “simply dropped her off at the home of her relatives”.

The family was not adequately equipped nor able to care for her and they instructed the centre to fetch her. She is now back there.

The review of the decision to close the centre will be based on a number of legal grounds.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.