Alex Mitchley
3 minute read
17 Jul 2015
11:00 am

Mentally ill teen’s dad lays charges against Bara doctor

Alex Mitchley

The father of a mentally ill teenage patient who was beaten to the point of unconsciousness - allegedly by a doctor at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital - has opened a case of assault.

The entrance to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is pictured, 7 June 2015, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Evidence has emerged showing that staff have been abusing patients. Picture: Alaister Russell

Last month, The Citizen reported that the violent attack took place at the 3200-bed hospital, where an “aggressive and agitated” 16-year-old boy was allegedly attacked by the doctor.

The teenager, who was also suspected of having been intoxicated when he arrived at the casualty section of the hospital, was beaten so badly he incurred several injuries and eventually lost consciousness.

The father of the boy has come forward and laid a charge of assault with the intent to cause Grievous Bodily Harm. Police confirmed that a charge had been laid and that it was still under investigation and no arrests have been made.

The teenager’s father said his son had been mentally disturbed and intoxicated on the day he took him to the hospital.

“He stripped naked and walked around the location, he was on the drugs,” he conceded.

While they were at the hospital, his son tried to escape, that is when security intervened and tried to restrain him.

“They came and helped me, while they were restraining him, they told me to go open a file.”

“I was in the line (to open up a file) when I heard screams on the other side of the casualty where my son was.”

When I got there, the boy was on the floor and bleeding from the mouth. I was given a tooth, but he lost two.”

He said he was initially told by hospital personnel that his son had turned violent and bit another elderly man, the father added that he thought his son must have hurt himself.

He was later told by another doctor that it was in fact a doctor working at the casualty ward that assaulted him.

“The doctor should have not beaten my boy, knowing he is a mental case,” he said.

According to the teenager’s father, he is now out of hospital and residing with his mother in the Eastern Cape.

The father’s story coincided with a credible source at the hospital who originally exposed the story.

Recounting events of that fateful day, a source at the hospital said a male doctor working in the casualty section started hitting and kicking the teenager who was being restrained by security guards and an elderly man.

In the ensuing melee, the teenager, who appeared to be in a psychotic state, bit the elderly man.

“The casualty doctor laid into the patient and basically beat him up,” said the source.

“He beat him in the face multiple times, he was black and blue. He lost a tooth and was unconscious in a pool of blood … unconscious for a few minutes.”

After the beating, the teenager lay on the floor in a pool of blood, according to the source. The doctor responsible for the assault then left casualty and the blood on the floor was removed by a cleaner.

The teenager’s father did not witness the assault because he was filling out relevant forms at the time. When he returned, he was handed a tooth and told his son lost it while biting the elderly man.

While police probe the criminal charges, the Gauteng Department of Health said the disciplinary hearing of the doctor in question had been concluded on Tuesday and that they were awaiting a report from the presiding officer.