There was an ATM bombing at the troubled Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus in the early hours of October 4.
Labour unions in the hospital have raised issues of safety about what they call incompetent security company placed at the hospital countless times since November 2017.
One of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) officials, who commented anonymously, said the incident happened a few meters away from the guard room.
“The security company placed here is incompetent. And it is alleged to be owned by the relative of the CEO Nomonde Mqhayi-Mbambo, who is put on special leave. It is not the first time this year that the hospital staff’s safety is compromised. Earlier in September, the nursing staff in ward eight were attacked inside the ward and their belongings, including handbags and cellphones, were stolen by unknown males at around 2.45am. This happens in the presence of the security company. The labour unions also raised issues of safety after that incident as well. But nothing has been done,” said Denosa official.
He added that: “The labour unions are concerned about the money paid by the banks for putting their ATMs inside the hospital premises. There are ATMs at the hospital but we do not know the agreement between the banks and the hospital. We also want to know if there are any rental agreements, to which account does the rental money goes to and how much. The hospital management must be transparent about this as well,” the official said.
One of the on-duty security guards on the day, who wanted to comment on the condition of anonymity, said they were held hostage by one of the suspects.
“One armed man came into our guard room and ordered me and my colleague to lie down on our stomachs. Immediately we heard a huge bang like an explosion. A few minutes after the explosion, the person who held us hostage disappeared. When we tried to check what the explosion was about, we found one of the ATMs bombed,” said one of the guards.
Philani Mhlungu, the hospital spokesperson, confirmed that the incident happened at the hospital premises.
“Those culprits managed to overpower our security guards as they appear on their blindside and pointed them with firearms. And, fortunately, no one was injured during the process. The suspects did not manage to take any money from the ATM. The matter was reported to the police,” said Mhlungu.
On his comment about the relationship between the CEO of the hospital and the owner of the security company, Department of Health spokesperson, Lesemang Matuka said: “There is no such a thing. This is nothing but malicious gossiping,” said Matuka.
Communication official at Vosloorus SAPS Capt Piet Rossouw said the police were called to the scene just after midnight at around 12.20am.
“On their arrival, the police found security personnel on duty still shocked following the incident. On their investigation on the premises, the police found that the FNB ATM was damaged possibly by explosions. The case of malicious damage to property has been open to this police station and is still under investigation,” said Rossouw.
Rossouw pleaded with anyone who might have information that can lead the police to the suspects to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
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