Meet the courageous Cape Town nurse who used hugs and kindness to calm a rampaging gunman

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Sister Diane Seale talks about what happened in room No 2 on the hospital’s second floor. (Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams)
Sister Diane Seale talks about what happened in room No 2 on the hospital’s second floor. (Photo: Jeffrey Abrahams)

She smiles warmly but ignores the hand we’ve stretched out in greeting. “Ag no, none of that nonsense,” she says and throws her arms open for a hug.

And this speaks volumes about the sort of person Sister Diane Seale is. Kindness and energy radiate from her, spreading down the corridors of New Somerset Hospital in Cape Town and wafting into the wards.

The 61-year-old senior nurse also has the ability to stay calm under pressure, which serves her well in her position as operational manager in the paediatric ward at New Somerset, South Africa’s oldest hospital.

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