WATCH | Three thugs assault patient at South Rand hospital after security guards 'ran away'
WARNING: The video below may disturb sensitive viewers
A man was violently beaten in the casualty waiting area of South Rand hospital in Johannesburg on Saturday, allegedly by "thugs" who wanted to "finish him off".
A video of the incident was shared on social media on Sunday.
The footage shows a man who is seemingly injured lying on a bench in the casualty waiting area at the state medical facility, south of Johannesburg.
Three men are seen arguing with medical personnel through a security gate. One of the men pulls the injured man from the bench and starts kicking him. The two others join in, kicking the man who is on the floor.
"Leave him alone," a staff member shouts through the gates.
Blood spots are evident on the floor as the men drag the injured man to a safety gate. The attackers then leave the hospital.
"This is so wrong, where are the police? Where are the security guards?" a staff member asks. A second staff member is heard saying: "Gone, all of them. They ran away."
Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) provincial chairperson Simphiwe Gada told TimesLIVE the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Gada said a patient arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound. He was apparently being pursued by the men.
"When the patient arrived at the hospital, those thugs came in and assaulted the patient right inside the casualty waiting area. The security [guards] fled and left the nurses and the doctors on their own," Gada said.
He said the medical staff were protected "from the thugs" by only a security gate.
"They [medical staff] could not assist this patient. They had to go and phone the police while the security [guards] were hiding somewhere.
"What also disturbs us is that there was a patient there who was under police guard and the police who were looking after this patient were asleep while the incident took place," he asserted.
He said police responded only when the staff dialled the 10111 call centre.
Gada said they had since visited the hospital to support the workers.
He accused the hospital of not taking the matter seriously.
"The precautionary measure that should have been taken is that the patient should have been transferred to another hospital so that those people could not find him at the hospital to finish him off.
"Workers must work in a safe environment and when these things happen, they must be protected," he said.
According to Gada a similar incident happened at Phola Park Clinic in Thokoza, Ekurhuleni, last week. "People were stabbing each other at the clinic and the security fled."
Police spokesperson Capt Mavela Masondo told TimesLIVE on Monday that no case had been opened at this stage. "Police went to the hospital, but we are still waiting for the patient to recover and to open a case."
Hospital spokesperson Phafudi Molapo said the man who was assaulted had fled to the hospital after being chased by a group of men.
"It is alleged that the incident started outside the hospital where the patient was being accused of shooting at the assailants," Molapo said.
The victim has since been admitted at the hospital.
His condition is not known.
Molapo said additional security guards had been placed in the ward and the patient was under police guard.
Hospital management continuously worked to ensure that a safe environment is provided to the patient and staff, Molapo said.
"We would like to appeal to the community to work with relevant government departments such as police and the hospital to curb such incidents."