Midwife at Appelsbosch hospital in KZN strangled, slapped and kicked while at work

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A file image of nurses pushing a bed past the entrance to the maternity ward at Northdale Hospital.
A file image of nurses pushing a bed past the entrance to the maternity ward at Northdale Hospital.
Ian Carbutt

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal (Denosa) has expressed its anger over an incident at Appelsboch Hospital in Ozwathini in the Ilembe District on Saturday where a midwife was attacked and strangled while performing her duties.

The incident happened in front of security.

“A man well-known to be a bully in that community, and called ‘a king’ by the community, brought his partner who was about to go on labour.

“Upon arrival, and under the influence of alcohol, he and his colleagues demanded that the midwife at work must stop whatever she was busy with and attend to his wife.

“Upon her reasoning that she was busy with a critical patient and that she was to attend to his wife after finishing her task at hand, the man just went for her and strangled her, slapped her five times and hit her against the wall before kicking her non-stop after she fell down unconscious,” said Denosa.

“It is sad that a member of the community will come and assault a midwife in front of security and other people but still they were unable to assist this nurse from harm,” the organisation said.

Denosa said it is worried about the role of private security at the institution and whether they are equipped to deal with such situations and why they failed to protect the nurse.

Denosa said it wants to inform and remind its members that they have a right to withhold their labour if the conditions they work under are not safe for them to execute their duties.

Denosa said it will advise the nurse to report this incident and open a criminal case of assault against this person who assaulted her and further litigate the private security company for failing to protect the her.

Denosa urged the department to strengthen security measures in the institution and others.

“In another incident of a reign of terror on healthcare workers, many nurses’ cars are hijacked in broad daylight at the L Clinic in Umlazi Township.

“The criminals will come a day or two before and identify cars they want in the parking bay and take photos of them. They will come the following day and take them away, in the presence of security.

“A nurse from the clinic has just informed us this morning that she received a message that the hijackers will be coming to the clinic to fetch her car [on Wednesday] because it is needed,” said Denosa's provincial secretary, Mandla Shabangu.

Denosa said they will advise members employed in the clinic to stop reporting there but instead to report to Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Umlazi “until the District management make serious interventions, including involving community leaders, police, metro police and the councillor.”

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