Durban and Coastal Mental Health Home: Sexual abuse confirmed

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

 

Durban and Coastal Mental Health Home: Sexual abuse confirmed

 

The Democratic Alliance has been reliably informed by its source within the Durban and Coastal Mental Health Home (DCMH) that an allegation of sexual assault involving a resident at the facility earlier this week has been confirmed by a medical practitioner.

The confirmation was made earlier today after the medical examination took place yesterday. Subsequent attempts by the DA to get an official response from management’s Gita Harie on the matter have unfortunately came to nothing.

The DA is devastated by this outcome. These are some of society’s most vulnerable citizens and for this to happen in an environment where they are supposed to be safe is simply horrific.

We also acknowledge the often trying circumstances that management and staff at this facility are working under and remain committed to working with the DCMH to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book. This despite the challenges this may present given the victim’s degree of mental disability.

The DCMH is one of the facilities that currently receives funding from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health yet it appears that MEC Dhlomo has only woken up to the ongoing media reports today, with a visit to the facility planned for this afternoon. This after the DA yesterday insisted that he go there himself during our own oversight inspection held yesterday.

The DA expects MEC Dhlomo to announce immediate interventions following his visit today. One of the most pressing issues he will need to address is the lack of CCTV cameras which has made it impossible for staff and patients’ movements to be monitored. We also expect him to work with his cabinet colleagues to ensure that criminal charges are laid as a matter of urgency and, most importantly, that they are followed up.

Had the MEC been proactive from the initial stages, many problems could have been avoided. Today, he must take steps to ensure that there is never a repeat episode of such brutal criminality within this facility’s walls.

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