Soweto hospital CEO given 'precautionary transfer' over alleged misconduct

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A general view of the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital.
A general view of the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital.
Papi Morake, Gallo Images
  • Ruth Mabyana, CEO of Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto, has been given a "precautionary transfer" amid misconduct allegations.
  • Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo says there is a need to urgently resolve the broader challenges at the hospital.
  • Incidents of violence have been reported at the hospital and complaints have been laid against Mabyana, according to IOL.

The Gauteng health department has given Ruth Mabyana, CEO of Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto, a "precautionary transfer" amid a misconduct debacle in which she has been implicated.

"The CEO is allegedly implicated in a case of misconduct. The issues surrounding the case must still be verified and a determination will be made accordingly. The CEO has been moved from the hospital," Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said in a statement.

Kekana said Makabedi Makhetha would be acting in the position in the meantime.

Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said there was a need to urgently resolve the broader challenges at Bheki Mlangeni Hospital and the community's confidence in the facility's capacity to continue providing much-needed healthcare services should be restored. 

He said an alleged case of rape at the facility was being looked into and that the department would appoint an independent investigator to help finalise the matter following an internal preliminary report.

The matter had also been referred to the South African Police Service for investigation, he said.

IOL reported there have been incidents of violence at the hospital and complaints laid against Mabyana. The publication said the latest incident was said to have happened on 17 October when a psychiatric patient allegedly raped a 16-year-old fellow psychiatric patient.

IOL also said there had been allegations that a security guard was stabbed while on duty on the same weekend. Prior to that, in May, the publication said Mabyana was suspended after a psychiatric patient allegedly stabbed 85-year-old patient Kholisile Edwin Zazayokwe to death. And in August, the CEO was reinstated despite her not being cleared by an investigation nor the findings being made public.

READ | Teenager in court for allegedly stabbing two patients at a Joburg hospital

Democratic Alliance MPL Jack Bloom has welcomed the move, saying he had raised questions about her ability to run the hospital as far back as six years ago.

"She has proved incapable of securing the safety of patients and staff, with at least 12 violent attacks this year, including the murder of one patient and the alleged rape of another.

"Other scandals during her term include jobs for pay and poor quality services that have given the hospital a bad name amongst Soweto residents.

"We have seen before how she has bounced back from previous suspensions, so I hope that she is finally held to account for years of mismanagement and is removed permanently."

Bloom said Soweto residents deserved a capable hospital management, as it served a large number of patients and was meant to take the strain off the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

The health department said it remained committed to improving the patient experience of care in Gauteng's health facilities.

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