The family of an elderly man who was stabbed to death, supposedly by a mentally ill patient, in a Soweto hospital demands answers.
The 86-year-old Edwin Zazayokwe died after he was assaulted and stabbed many times in the chest with a sharp object, supposedly by a 17-year-old psychiatric patient at Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital on Friday.
The teenager also allegedly assaulted a 75-year-old patient with the same object, injuring him.
The assault occurred just a day after the teenager had allegedly back slapped the elderly men in the medical ward and no one took action a nurse at the hospital said.
The teen was diagnosed with new-onset psychosis, Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said
“He was admitted in the medical ward to clear any other medical conditions,” Kekana said.
Edwin Zazayokwe was hospitalized on April 7 after his blood pressure rose up, resulting in additional health complications.
Zazayokwe’s daughter Vuyelwa yesterday told Sowetan that she and her family were left terrified and perplexed after being alerted about the attack.
“On Wednesday, the doctor told us that they had done everything they could for him and there was nothing else they could do [his health was deteriorating]. So, when we got a call from the hospital two days later, we knew that he could be dead,” Vuyelwa said.
“What we didn’t know was that he was killed. We are hurt because the hospital was aware that the patient [teen] was violent.”
“The investigating officer told us that he attacked my father and another patient a day before he stabbed him.”
Vuyelwa interrogated why a mentally ill patient was put in a ward with her father and how he managed to get hold of a sharp object.
“Where were the nurses and security guards? Why did they not fasten him when they knew that he was not a normal patient? Why was there no monitoring? We have so many questions about what happened and the hospital and the department need to explain what happened,” she said.
The family is also accusing the provincial department of health for failing to keep their patients safe.
Kekana said it was uncertain how the patient managed able to get hold of a sharp object inside the hospital.