The Gauteng Health Department says it is normal practice for police officers not to be subjected to the same security procedures as the public, especially if they are in uniform and driving a state vehicle. This follows a shooting incident in which a police officer in uniform and driving a police vehicle, shot and killed his nursing assistant partner at the Tembisa Hospital, east of Johannesburg.
The police officer, who was on duty arrived at the hospital, called her partner to the parking lot then shot her before turning the gun on himself.
The woman died on the scene and the police officer was airlifted to the Milpark Hospital where he is in a critical condition.
The department’s Head of Communications Motalatale Modiba would not be drawn into whether the department would need to review its security policies at healthcare facilities.
“I don’t want to make commitments at this particular platform. For now, our concern is to ensure staff is debriefed. This has shocked them. They need to be take to the process. There are patients who are shocked. There other issues will be followed up when we do a post analysis, to see where are the gaps and shortfalls and how do we work with law enforcement and that going forward, how do we tighten things and minimise these kinds of incidences.”
Nurses’ union, Denosa, has challenged the health department to beef up security at healthcare facilities.
Denosa’s Simphiwe Gada.
“This thing tells you that it is even easy for members of the public to pose as police officers. By mere flash of blue lights, without verifying batch number and force number, the person was allowed entry into the hospital. There is breach in security and policies that are monitoring movement of police. As stakeholders we need to sit down and develop a policy.”