Martha Marais, elderly woman who in 2019 was tied to bench in Mamelodi Hospital, dies

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Martha Marais was tied to a steel bench at Mamelodi Hospital. (Getty Images/Gallo Images)
Martha Marais was tied to a steel bench at Mamelodi Hospital. (Getty Images/Gallo Images)
  • Martha Marais, who was left tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital in 2019, has died in Pretoria.
  • A family spokesperson said she died peacefully, shortly after a visit from her children and friends.
  • Her treatment at the time exposed the shortage of adequate facilities in the hospital's casualty department. 



Martha Marais, the woman who was left tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital in 2019, has died in Pretoria.

Marais, who was in her late seventies, died on Friday at Eersterust Community Health Centre.

"It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of ouma Martha Marais. She died peacefully, a few hours after visiting with her children and celebrating her son Vernon's birthday," family spokesperson Virginia Keppler said.

"The family of ouma Marais - who was tied to a bench at the Mamelodi Hospital last year - would like to thank everyone, especially the staff at EACH [hospice] for their unselfish care and love, and all those who prayed for ouma Marais. Funeral details will follow soon. May ouma Marais' soul rest in perfect peace."

In May 2019, Marais was restrained under a bench and left to lie on the floor at the hospital. 

A security guard, two doctors and a nurse were placed on special leave following the release of shocking footage of her situation. 

In the video clip, Marais can be seen on the floor, tied to a bench, with her hands behind her back.

A security guard is seen standing next to her, and her daughter is screaming and asking the guard why they are treating her mother in that way.

A year later, the Gauteng Department of Health reached an undisclosed settlement with Marais' family.

The settlement was reached with the help of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and facilitated by retired judge Neels Claasen of the SA Medico-Legal Association.

The SAHRC was told that Marais was tied up because she was confused, but her treatment also exposed the shortage of adequate facilities in the casualty department. 

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