Life Healthcare started its own internal investigation into an allegation that a 17-year-old girl, who had just given birth in its Mthatha private hospital, was raped by a man posing as a doctor, the company said on Wednesday.
"Life St Mary's Private Hospital has been made aware of the alleged incident that took place yesterday and is investigating the matter internally along with cooperating fully with the authorities," it said in comments attributed to Bruce Janssens, regional manager for the private healthcare group in the Eastern Cape.
"The security of our patients is a priority in our hospitals and we wish to assure the community of our commitment to the delivery of quality care in a safe and secure environment," the email in response to questions from News24 read.
Eastern Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the accused did not appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Wednesday as expected.
"He is going to appear tomorrow [Thursday]. We waited for the docket from the police," he explained, adding that authorities were still within the 48-hour limit for holding a person until their first court appearance.
The 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped a day after she had given birth.
Police were told the man went to her bed on the pretext of examining her, but allegedly raped her instead.
The alarm was raised, and he was arrested in the hospital shortly after noon.