Missing patient found dead at Limpopo hospital

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Police are investigating an inquest after a mental health patient allegedly hanged himself. Photo: iStock
Police are investigating an inquest after a mental health patient allegedly hanged himself. Photo: iStock


GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: This article contains details of a graphic nature and is not for sensitive readers.

A mental healthcare patient who had been reported missing at Hayani Psychiatric Hospital in Limpopo was found hanging with a bed sheet in one of the institution’s service duct passages.

According to the Limpopo health department, the patient was reported missing last Tuesday and was only found on Saturday.

Provincial health spokesperson Neil Shikwambana said the deceased was admitted to the facility following a history of violence, which also included attempts to murder his close relatives.

After he was reported missing, an intense search was conducted throughout the week by the hospital and also the SAPS K9 unit. His family was immediately informed and messages were circulated to the public in an endeavour to find him.

On Saturday, a security personnel caught wind of a foul smell coming from a service duct passage.

“They broke down the door that was locked from inside, and that was when his body was discovered having used a bed sheet to allegedly hang himself,” he said.

He added the police were investigating an inquest case.

READ: Mental health patient’s deadly attack at Limpopo hospital

“The department had hoped that he would be assisted to get better like many other mental healthcare users who get to be united with their families after being rejected in the communities. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could be helped.”

Shikwambana said a psychologist was dispatched to support the family.

Last year, a patient at Thabamoopo Psychiatric Hospital died after allegedly attempting to escape from the health facility. He was discovered trapped in the burglar-proof window.

READ: Psychiatric patient dies at Limpopo hospital while trying to escape

In another incident, the department announced that it had to suspend the on-call system at Makgope Clinic in the Greater Tzaneen area.

Shikwambana said this was after armed men gained access to the clinic and assaulted the security personnel before robbing them of their cellphones and demanding firearms.

“The decision for the suspension of the on-call duty system is to ensure that the department is able to work on measures which will guarantee the safety of the staff members in the clinics. Criminal activities at health institutions have been a thorn in the side of the department, especially in its attempt to make clinics function at night,” Shikwambana said.

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