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Union challenges suspension of Mamelodi nurse accused of mistreating patient

A video of 76-year-old Martha Marais tied to a steel bench while lying on the floor at the facility has sparked outrage and prompted an investigation.

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

BRAAMFONTEIN - The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) said on Wednesday it was challenging the decision to put a nurse implicated in the mistreatment of an elderly woman at the Mamelodi Hospital on special leave, claiming proper processes were not followed.

A video of 76-year-old Martha Marais tied to a steel bench while lying on the floor at the facility has sparked outrage and prompted an investigation.

Four staff members, including two doctors and a security guard, were also implicated.

Denosa held a briefing in Braamfontein on Wednesday following the latest developments.

Denosa said it had written to Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku with reasons why the implicated nurse should not be placed on precautionary suspension.

“This person was only on duty for an hour when the incident occurred. When would she have had the opportunity to offer [any] care?”

The nursing union's Bongani Mazibuko said the nurse in question did not have any contact with the elderly woman when she reported for duty.

Provincial chairperson Simphiwe Gada said the union was calling for an independent body to take over the investigation as the process had already been compromised.

“The Department of Health is already compromised in our view. They have already prejudiced the mess through their actions like misinforming the public.”

Denosa also highlighted the difficult conditions under which its nurses work at the hospital, saying it had become extremely difficult for its members to fulfil their roles.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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