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Family of woman chained to bench at Mamelodi Hospital welcome new CEO

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku announced a settlement was reached between the department, Martha Marais' family and the South African Human Rights Commission.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku visited 76-year-old Martha Marais on 5 January 2020. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The family of Martha Marais - who was tied to a bench at the Mamelodi Hospital last year - have welcomed the replacement of the hospital's CEO.

But they're still waiting for a report on the other staff members who were implicated in her ill-treatment.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku announced that a settlement was reached between the department, Marais' family and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

The staff involved in the incident will go through corrective but not punitive consequence management.

Her family said that she had undergone counselling and was doing well.

Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler said that they welcomed the department's open-door attitude, which led to the settlement.

“We are so happy that they appointed a new CEO, he's made a difference already. Mamelodi is situated among very poor people and the fact that they are now providing meals for people who have been there for a long time really speaks to the heart.”

Keppler said that initially Marais would cry uncontrollably and she was afraid to go outside but now she appeared more confident.

However, she said they still wanted to know how the other staff would be held to account.

"The family is happy with the redress and what I'm talking about is the people responsible for this. The MEC said that he should be held accountable but there is a process that they are following with certain people at the hospital. Those reports will be made available to the family.”

The parties have agreed to not disclose details of the settlement.