Pensioner, 76, is tied to hospital benches, forced to lie on floor


    The fate of hospital staff implicated in the alleged abuse of a 76-year-old woman who was tied to a steel bench at the Mamelodi Hospital will be decided on Friday morning.

    The Health Department launched an investigation after a video went viral which showed a pensioner lying on the cold hospital tiles, tied with a cloth to the steel pipes of a bench.

    Martha Marais was rescued by her outraged family after they returned to the hospital finding her disorientated and agitated.

    Stephnie Marais discovered her 76-year-old mother Martha tied to a bench, forcing her to lie on the cold floor of the hospital.

    The Health Department’s Mothomone Pitsi said staff implicated in this ill-treatment have given statements and their fate will be discussed at a meeting on Friday morning.

    “If anybody has acted inappropriately, action will be taken against them. The decision will be made after viewing the incident statements that we have been collecting overnight.”

    Marais was admitted to hospital on Tuesday and has not yet been discharged.

    Newly appointed Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku acknowledged a number of problems at the hospital, including low staff morale.

    The MEC visited the facility on Thursday after the video went viral.

    An investigation is now underway to determine who should be held to account for the ill-treatment.

    Masuku said there are protocols to deal with patients who may become agitated or aggressive.

    “There are ways which we can calm them down using different methods. We also do have a protocol that talks about restraining but not in that manner and it should be within protecting the dignity of the patient.”

    The department also received a number of complaints from the community saying the hospital was notorious for patient abuse.