Protest outside Stellenbosch Hospital after alleged rape of 15-year-old psychiatric patient

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Protesters outside Stellenbosch Hospital.
Protesters outside Stellenbosch Hospital.
Bianca Booysen/Facebook
  • Police are investigating after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another patient in the facility's toilets.
  • The provincial health department says an internal review of the matter and circumstances of the incident is underway.
  • No one has been arrested.

The family of a teenager allegedly raped at Stellenbosch Hospital - where she is receiving psychiatric treatment - on Friday called for the suspension of the hospital manager, security guard on duty and a nurse said to have witnessed the incident, pending an investigation.

An angry crowd gathered outside the state facility, where a memorandum was handed to a hospital representative.

Police were investigating after the 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another patient in the facility's toilets.

The child's mother said she was only informed some time after the incident - she said she was initially informed it had happened on 16 September, but was later told the assault had happened on 23 September.

READ | Lockdown: SA moves to Level 1 as govt set to introduce vaccine certificates

She was nevertheless only informed on 25 September, after her daughter had already been put on anti-retroviral medication, birth control and had received the morning after pill.

Her child was admitted to the facility on 11 September after an attempted suicide.

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 30: The We
Western Cape MEC for Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, addressing the media outside Stellenbosch Hospital after her visit on Thursday.

Family spokesperson Bianca Booysen said they were demanding that the child be moved to an alternative facility in the Stellenbosch area at the health department's expense and that the alleged perpetrator be removed from the hospital. 

Private

The girl had since been moved to a private room where she was "locked in behind a gate".

"But he is still there. He should have been the one who is locked in, not her," Booysen argued.

Sandra Maritz, spokesperson for the provincial health department's Cape Winelands District, confirmed the department received a memorandum "noting the family's concern".

"The requests are being considered and feedback will be given to the family," she said.

According to Maritz, the minor girl was "in a secure room and can be visited by family members".

READ | Teen allegedly raped at Stellenbosch hospital

The other patient, she said, left the hospital on Friday, 24 September.

She said the incident was a police matter and the department would participate in and support the investigation.

"An internal review of the matter and circumstances of the incident is underway."

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo spoke to the family on Thursday, Booysen said, and while they appreciated her apology and request for a report into the incident, they wanted to see firm action.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said there were no new developments in the case.

"The investigation continues."

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