Mother lays charges after hospital's 'assault and neglect of her newborn'

14 January 2021 - 18:43
A heavily pregnant woman says she was assaulted by security guards at the front door of a hospital and when she gave birth in a ward that night her baby was neglected, causing it to fall on to the floor.
A heavily pregnant woman says she was assaulted by security guards at the front door of a hospital and when she gave birth in a ward that night her baby was neglected, causing it to fall on to the floor.
Image: 123RF/vitalinka

A Johannesburg woman has opened assault and negligence charges after she was allegedly assaulted at a hospital in the city just hours before she gave birth.

DA MP Luyolo Mphithi, who was helping the woman, spoke to TimesLIVE from the Moffatview police station, where the woman had just opened the cases.

According to him, the heavily pregnant woman went to South Rand Hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday for treatment, but she was “assaulted by security guards at the front door”.

When she was finally let in, she gave birth in the ward that night — but because of neglect, her newborn baby “fell on to the floor”.

Mphithi said shortly before 6pm on Thursday: “Right now I'm at the Moffatview police station with the woman who was assaulted. She's just opened a case. She's reported the assault, and then she's reporting negligence towards the baby inside the hospital.”

He said that he had been in contact with the Gauteng health department about the matter, which it said it would investigate.

Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said: “The department will look into the matter.”

Describing the incident, Mphithi said: “It happened last night [Wednesday] at the hospital. She was assaulted outside, by the entrance. After that, once that had happened, her water broke. She was screaming and trying to get assistance from staff at the hospital, but no-one helped her. I spoke to the doctor and the excuse was that he was in theatre so he didn't know what was happening.”

He said that the child “has a mark on his back, I'm thinking from the fall”.

“We've taken a picture and shown the police. The baby is fine. They took him for X-rays this morning. I'm going to get a second opinion because it was a ruckus at the hospital this morning,” said Mphithi.

He said he was trying to get help from the Commission for Gender Equality for the woman, saying she was from an underprivileged background. The commission had agreed to assist, he said.

TimesLIVE


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