WATCH: Elderly woman injured after care worker pushes her to the ground

2019-05-30 19:27
Picture: Screen grab

Picture: Screen grab

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A care home worker is expected to appear in court after allegedly pushing a 79-year-old woman to the floor, leaving her with multiple injuries. 

CCTV footage appears to show the staff member shoving Elize Devenish in the dining hall, after she attempts to take another yogurt upon finishing her breakfast. The woman then continues with her work while Devenish lies on the floor with a broken arm.

A second staff member then arrives on the scene, but leaves without offering assistance. 

The incident happened at Ons Tuiste Sentrum vir Bejaardes in Wilgehof on May 22.

A case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was registered at Parkweg police station.

According to police, the 55-year-old suspect from Phelandaba in Mangaung was arrested on Wednesday and was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

"The statement made to the police is that the 79-year-old was having breakfast on Wednesday 22 May, 2019. After having her food, Elize wanted to have another yoghurt and, as she took it, the lady serving the elderlies pushed her and she fell on the ground. The nurse on duty came into the dining hall, had a look at Elize lying on the ground, and left without offering assistance," Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane told News24.

"The victim was taken to hospital later and she was treated for a fractured left forearm and other injuries on her hip and thigh," he added. 

Staff members suspended

The woman's son, Charl Devenish, told News24 that his mother had been a resident at the retirement village for 11 years, but recently moved to the frail care unit. 

He added that she was currently in a wheelchair because of her leg injury.

"She is definitely traumatised, but luckily my mom is somebody that bounces back quickly from stuff, so she's in good spirits, but you can see if things get quiet around her. You can see that she's a bit shaken up about it."

The facility is run by non-governmental organisation Engo, which described the incident as "highly unacceptable" and "isolated".

"The two staff members were immediately suspended after the incident. Disciplinary hearings have already been held and the outcome will be conveyed in due course," chief executive director De Wet Claassens said in a statement.

"Engo regrets the incident and promises its full cooperation with any investigations that are launched," he added.

Engo said the findings of the internal disciplinary processes could not be made public yet, since neither of the staff members that were involved could be reached.

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