Nurse shocked with electricity, choked and raped at work
Bongiwe Mnguni, a nurse at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg, thought she would never survive the brutal attack. Speaking to The Sowetan, Mnguni related her horrific ordeal – which had occurred on Friday evening of the previous week.
She was walking down the hospital’s corridor to the ward at 6.45pm to start her shift when her horror began.
“After opening the third door, I felt someone grab my neck from behind. Then I heard a voice. He told me to keep quiet unless I wanted to die,” Mnguni recalled.
The threat was followed by a horrifying and violent series of events. The attacker proceeded to punch her in the face with his fists while choking her with his hands.
He demanded money, bank cards and car keys. “I fought him until I fell down; he then began to undress me. He put a laboratory coat over my face while he was raping me,” she said.
After raping her, he wrapped copper wire around her finger and connected it to a plug. “I’ve never felt such pain in my life. I was asking God to take my soul. I lay there motionless like a dead person hoping he’d go away,” Mnguni said.
Finally the attacker left the room, locking her inside. Before leaving, he threw her phone into a sink.
When she managed to get up a green condom lay beside her.
In a state of panic, Mnguni contemplated jumping from the window to avoid heading in the same direction as the man. But instead she stood by the door naked, bleeding and screaming.
Other staff members heard her desperate cries and came to assist.
Mnguni said safety on the hospital’s grounds has always been an issue.
“Our stock room is in an awkward and dark place. You always have to lock yourself in after opening.”
This week the Gauteng health department released a statement condemning the violent attack, announcing that security at the hospital would be beefed up.
The attack has put the spotlight on the state of security at public hospitals. In 2010 a doctor was raped during the night shift at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.
Moeder Molatlhiwa, a nurses representative at union Hospersa, said security at public hospitals has always been a concern.
Molatlhiwa said recently a nurse was robbed near the hospital’s mortuary. She said there was also an issue of vacant rooms at the nurses college, which gave criminals a place to hide.
Mnguni said she was speaking out in the hope that her ordeal would bring attention to the plight of health workers all over the country. – The Sowetan