A mental healthcare patient at George Masebe Hospital in Mogalakwena, Limpopo, had allegedly been strangled to death by a fellow patient.
The deadly attack had happened in the psychiatric ward during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Provincial health spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said an internal investigation had been launched.
Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba conveyed a message of condolences to the family and friends of the deceased patient.
During her budget speech in March, Ramathuba had said that mental health challenges had become another pandemic and the current situation had been worsened by the impact of Covid-19.
“Job losses, fear of infection, isolation/quarantine, loss of loved ones and divorce are some of the factors that have increased the level of depression to a stage where it is now manifesting by the increase in the number of suicide cases and intimate partner violence. It is against this background that as a department, we have adopted a campaign under the theme ‘Be kind to your mind’.”
Mopani and Waterberg had already launched this community approach to assist those struggling with mental health challenges.
The Health MEC had cautioned that until such time when people treat mental healthcare as a priority like they do other medical conditions, we would continue to tail off as a nation, starting with healthcare providers.
According to the latest Mental State of the World report, South Africa has been identified as the lowest-ranked country based on mental well-being.
The report also revealed how the mental health of younger generations, which grew up in an internet-dominated and inequitable world, had plummeted.