MEDIA STATEMENT

To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Friday, 14 April 2023

Health Minister condemns barbaric and sexual harassment of Limpopo nurse

Pretoria: Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla notes with outrage and wishes to condemn in the strongest possible terms the barbaric act of rape and abuse of a professional nurse based at Madumane Clinic in Greater Tzaneen, Limpopo.

According to the incident report, the nurse was on her way from home in Polokwane to workplace when she disembarked a taxi late in the afternoon with a fellow male passenger who pretended to be caring and friendly.

The man who up to then looked unsuspicious and friendly, offered to accompany her as she walked to the clinic where she is based for work, but along the way he accosted and forcefully dragged her into the nearby bush, where he assaulted and raped her before disappearing with some of her belongings.

The victim managed to gain strengths after this ordeal and called for help at the nearby household in the middle of the night. These kinds of criminal activities hamper our efforts to make more health facilities available to communities even after hours.

Minister Phaahla appeals to the community members of Madumane village and nearby communities to join hands with the police in search of the perpetrator of this heinous crime of gender based violence and ensure their communities are safer places for people to work, and children to play.

The Department, working together with the law enforcement agencies, civil society organisations will continue to explore ways in which security of healthcare workers could be improved as we aim to place more professional healthcare personnel in the underserved and disadvantaged communities.

For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

Mr Foster Mohale
Departmental Spokesperson
National Health Department
0724323792
Foster.mohale@health.gov.za

Mr Doctor Tshwale
Media Liaison Officer for Health Minister
National Health Department
063 657 8487
Doctor.Tshwale@health.gov.za