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Family demands answers after man dies at Thelle Mogoerane Hospital

Rudolph Deon Lubbe allegedly took his own life in the hospital's psychiatric ward earlier this month.

The Thelle Mogoerane hospital in Vosloorus. Picture: da-gpl.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Friends and family of a man who died in the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus are looking for answers about the circumstances around his death.

Rudolph Deon Lubbe allegedly took his own life in the hospital's psychiatric ward earlier this month.

Hospital management says investigations by the police and the mental health review board are underway.

Lubbe’s friend Johan Le Grange has questioned how his friend could have died in a psychiatric ward which should have been under high surveillance.

“My question is where were the nurses and staff that were on duty when he actually hanged himself? Surely someone was supposed to monitor the patients.”

The hospital’s acting CEO Jatin Ganda, who was appointed just two weeks ago, says part of an investigation launched by the department is whether Lubbe killed himself.

“The mental health review board will give us an independent opinion as to whether there is a deficit in the unit or not.”

According to the Democratic Alliance in the province, there are currently 43 psychiatric patients at the hospital with only four nurses on duty and no full-time psychiatrist.

Ganda says at this stage, they cannot confirm or deny this.

At the same time, management at the hospital says the psychiatric unit will be audited to determine the circumstances around Lubbe's death.

Ganda says the hospital is a tough space.

“There are a lot of limitations and pressures. You must remember this is an 800-bed hospital, covering a catchment of close to two million people.”

The facility has also recently been in the news for a klebsiellosis outbreak, which killed six babies.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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