No settlement has been reached in case of patient tied to hospital bench: Buang Jones

22 October 2019 - 17:23 By ERNEST MABUZA
Pensioner Martha Marais who was left traumatised after she was tied to a hospital bench at Mamelodi Hospital.
Pensioner Martha Marais who was left traumatised after she was tied to a hospital bench at Mamelodi Hospital.
Image: Supplied

The Gauteng health department said on Tuesday it had reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of 76-year-old Martha Marais who was tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital in May.

But the SA Human Rights Commission, which represents the family, said shortly afterwards that a final settlement had not been reached.

Department spokesperson Philani Mhlungu said that the department had entered into a mediation process on September 20 with the family to resolve the issue outside court.

"The parties have reached settlement and the matter has been finalised," Mhlungu said.

Mhlungu said retired judge Neels Claassen presided over the mediation process.

Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler could not comment on the department's statement and referred TimesLIVE to the commission.

Disturbing cellphone footage shows a distraught daughter arguing with a security guard after she found her 76-year-old mother tied to a bench and lying on the floor at Mamelodi Hospital on May 28 2019.

Buang Jones, provincial manager of the commission, said: "There was a mediation session between the family and the department. However, parties have not reached a settlement and the matter has not yet been finalised. We reject any suggestion that there has been a settlement."

The commission entered into the fray in May and said it would help Marais's family to see if they could get compensation from the department for the incident - which was captured on video.

The commission said at the time that Marais deserved to be compensated for the trauma  she had endured.

"We want to provide legal assistance to the family. We want to demand answers from the MEC of health and the CEO of the hospital because this happened under his/her watch. Part of our mandate is to hold the government accountable," Jones said in May.

Jones said there had been a clear violation of Marais's human rights, and that there was clear humiliation and victimisation.

Mhlungu did not comment further when queried about the position of the SAHRC on the settlement.