Pretoria - An Eersterust family still waiting for the return of their loved one’s personal belongings following his death, have opted to open a case of theft and wrongful detention with the local police against staff at the Mamelodi Hospital.
Despite assurances by the Gauteng Department of Health to seek a meeting with the family for redress this week, the family of Johannes Januarie have decided to open a case with the local police against staff members who allegedly locked them inside the facilities’ casualty ward.
This was after Januarie's ex-wife Althea Jacobs and his sister Jacqueline Januarie were allegedly locked in the hospital's casualty ward recently by a group of about five staff members and security guards, demanding they delete the pictures taken of the appalling state of the room where patients items were stored by the hospital.
The women alleged they were left to sift through dirty-blood stained linen and cleaning supplies at the Mamelodi Hospital in an attempt to find the belongings of their loved one following his reported death on January 6.
A case of theft of belongings and wrongful detention was opened with the Mamelodi police on Friday.
According to the family spokesperson Virginia Keppler, the family had decided to open a case with the local police as they felt violated by the staff members’ actions on the day they went looking for their relatives' clothes.
Keppler said the family had also decided to go this route as the community at large was fed-up with the numerous reports and complaints of ill-treatment and poor service delivery by the staff at the hospital that continued unabated.
"We see the constant reports of issues at the hospital, but never of the steps taken against staff found to have ill-treated the public. There are no consequences and instead, the staff members are protected by the government and this needs to stop."
"The family is still very emotional about Johannes' death and worse still they are unable to finish off the necessary rituals as his clothes are still nowhere to be found."
Keppler said although the family was aware of the hospital's plans to meet up with them this week, all they wanted was for Januarie's clothes to be returned to them and for action to be taken against the implicated staff members.