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SAHRC to investigate Mamelodi Hospital patient abuse incident

Gauteng SAHRC manager Buang Jones said the commission was alarmed by the incident and demanded answers.

Martha Marais (76) tied to a steel bench and lying on the floor at Mamelodi Hospital. Picture: Virginia Keppler/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Friday said it would investigate the circumstances around the abuse of a pensioner at Mamelodi Hospital.

Gauteng SAHRC manager Buang Jones said the commission was alarmed by the incident and had demanded answers.

“The legal team will touch base with the family, and we are aware of the investigation that has been initiated by the new MEC, but we also have a responsibility to promote and to protect human rights, and to hold government accountable, and we will be demanding answers,” he said.

A video of Martha Marais tied to a steel bench while lying on the floor went viral and sparked outrage at the staff for ill-treating the 76-year-old.

The Gauteng Department of Health said it was also investigating the matter and was waiting for a preliminary report to decide on the fate of the implicated staff.

Meanwhile, Marais’ family said on Friday they would be going to the Mamelodi police station to lay a criminal complaint against the staff involved in the incident as well as the provincial department of health.

The family said they were also talking to Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and hospital management.

Staff who were on duty when Marais was admitted on Tuesday submitted statements to the department and SAHRC.

The Marais family expressed gratitude to the media for covering the story and to the general South African public for their messages of support.