Nurse shot over patient's death dies

2010-09-15 12:42

Johannesburg - A Mpumalanga nurse who was shot and wounded over the weekend, allegedly by relatives of a patient she cared for at Lydenburg Hospital, has died, the provincial health department said on Wednesday.

The nurse, whose identity has not yet been revealed, died on Tuesday night due to her wounds, after she and her mother were shot at in their home on Sunday, spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said.

Jackson Patrick Mdluli, aged 37, and Zondi Motau, aged 31, appeared in the Lydenburg Magistrate's Court on Monday charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi said the pair would remain in custody until their next court appearance on September 21. One of the attempted murder charges would be changed to murder.

She was apparently murdered in retaliation for the death of a woman suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, who was in her care.

The woman was re-admitted to the hospital last Wednesday after being released during the civil servants' strike. On her return, she was not fitted with a drip. A doctor ordered it not be used, Gabashane said.

Her two sons visited her on Thursday, found she did not have a drip and asked the nurse why. When their mother died on Saturday, her sons allegedly went to the nurse's house to confront her, blaming her for their mother's death.

Denosa shocked

The men left after she explained what had happened, only to return a while later. This time the nurse refused to let them in. They allegedly forced their way into the house, shot the nurse in the face and her mother in the hand.

Both women were taken to the Nelspruit Medi-Clinic. The nurse had been in a serious and critical condition since Sunday, Gabashane said. Her mother's condition was stable.

Gabashane said the nurse was well-known in the small community, which had made it easy for her alleged killers to find her.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Mpumalanga expressed shock at the incident.

Spokesperson Silence Matsane described the attack as "unfair".

"The reason people are hospitalised is because death is a possibility and I do not know any nurse who can resurrect a dead person.

"We plead with communities and all other stakeholders to support and protect nurses," he said.