Hospital worker accused of raping pregnant teen linked to previous similar incident
An Mpumalanga hospital worker who recently appeared in court for allegedly raping a pregnant teen is accused of committing a similar offence at the same hospital a mere six months ago.
The man was posing as a doctor. The 31-year-old man appeared in the Eerstehoek magistrate's court on Wednesday after his arrest in KZN in the early hours of Monday morning. He had fled to KZN after the alleged incident.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi explained that the latest incident unfolded on May 14 at Embhuleni Hospital in Elukwatini.
“The matriculant, aged 18, went to the hospital for a check-up. When she arrived, the doctor was busy and she was waiting for the doctor to finish [with his other appointments]. A man who was working there as a labourer saw the girl and asked her what the problem was.
“She explained and he then said he could help her as he was a doctor. He then directed her to the bathroom and instructed her to undress before he could attend to her. When he arrived, he [allegedly] raped her before fleeing,” Hlathi told TimesLIVE.
The man was traced to Mtubatuba, northern KZN, where he was arrested and brought back to Mpumalanga to face the music. When he appeared in court, it emerged that this was actually his second appearance for a similar offence at the same hospital.
Hlathi explained that the first incident allegedly unfolded in a similar manner last November — except that he was charged with sexual assault at the time.
He was first arrested in February and the matter was postponed as police were “directed to tighten some loose ends” with the investigation.
Mpumalanga health department spokesperson Dumisani Malamule confirmed that the man has since been suspended pending an investigation.
Pressed on why the man was not suspended after his first arrest, Malamule said he wasn't sure. “The matter was brought to our attention now, hence the suspension,” he told TimesLIVE.
The accused will appear in court again on June 24 on rape and sexual assault charges. He was remanded in custody until his next appearance.