Two security guards were caught on video assaulting a 13-year-old disabled boy at Ladysmith Hospital.
THE KWAZULU-Natal Department of Health has taken the necessary steps after a patient, a 13-year-old boy, was assaulted by two security guards at Ladysmith Hospital recently.
According to the department, swift action has led to an internal disciplinary process, the implicated security guards have been dismissed by their private employer and the assaulted patient has been moved to another facility.
In a video that went viral on social media, a patient can be heard crying out while two security guards are standing next to his hospital bed. The person believed to have taken the video, seems to address the person he was taking the video for.
“Look at what they are doing to him … they are hitting him,” the person said. He added that the patient had been at the hospital for about three weeks, and they always hit him. When he had been there for just two days and they hit him.
“… This isn’t supposed to be happening in hospitals, we are supposed to be treated here. But now they’re treating us as prisoners,” he said. “This is a child, he’s 13 years old and he just got beaten up by security … this is so painful, I don’t know what is happening in this world.”
In the one-minute-and-22-second video, part of the patient’s hospital bed is shielded with a curtain, while one side, where the security guards stand, remains open while the patient can be heard crying out.
A voice can be heard saying “… this (patient) is disrespectful, really hit them”.
It is then that one of the security guards hits the patient. He is then joined by the second security guard who wastes no time and hits the patient too.
While the security guards take turns hitting the patient, he shouts out and cries, “ngiyaxolisa” which means “I’m sorry”.
In a statement, KZN Department of Health spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said the department instituted an urgent investigation into an incident.
Maphisa said the department confirms that the two security guards have been immediately dismissed by their employer, who is contracted to provide security services at the hospital. The department has also instituted an internal disciplinary process against the nursing staff implicated in the matter.
He said it is believed that the incident took place on Thursday evening and was brought to the attention of hospital management on Friday.
The security company implicated in the matter was immediately informed about the incident and immediately took action against the employees.
Maphisa said the patient, who suffers from a disability and was a resident of a place of shelter before admission to Ladysmith Hospital, has since been moved to another health-care facility in Durban.
“As a department, we are shocked and appalled by this incident. Our Honourable MEC Nomagugu Simelane has made it clear that the safety and well-being of our patients are our priority, and that their abuse under any circumstances, and in any way, shape or form, will not be accepted,” Maphisa said.
“We can confirm that the matter has been reported to the police, and to the Department of Social Development. We can also confirm that a disciplinary process is under way into this matter. This process will look into, among others, where the nurses were when the incident took place, who called the security guards, and why the patient was assaulted.”