POLICE in South Africa are on the hunt for a doctor who allegedly raped women at two different city hospitals, while civil rights organisations called on hospitals and other health professionals to safeguard women in their care.
Having received reports and even a case opened against the man, police said he had disappeared into thin air, and requested anyone who knew him or his whereabouts to assist in his apprehension.
“A case has been opened against him at the Pretoria Central police station, for rape, but we cannot find him,” police said yesterday).
The case involves a gynaecologist hired by another, to examine patients at rooms at the Louis Pasteur Private Hospital. He is alleged to have raped a patient when she went for an examination in July.
The same doctor is alleged to have raped another patient at a hospital in Pretoria West between 2019 and 2020, after which he disappeared.
None of the hospitals has the man’s credentials, nor do they have his resume, registration number, or history of employment, civil rights organisation #NotInMyName said.
The group stepped in after the recent incident, and called for the closure of the rooms in which he worked, which were owned by a doctor at Mediclinic MedForum.
At a protest outside Louis Pasteur on Friday, they said the hiring doctor was complicit in the acts of the alleged rapist, because he had not verified the suspect’s credentials before allowing him to handle patients.
Secretary-general Themba Masango said: “We went to the hiring doctor, who, after expressing his shock at the report at Louis Pasteur, admitted he had no practice number, nor did he have a history of accomplishment as a doctor.”
Narrating the ordeal as told by the woman, who cannot be named, Masango said: “She arrived at Louis Pasteur on Thursday afternoon, and this man made as if he was examining her. He then told her to move to another space and to remove her clothes.
“She was surprised but thought as a doctor he probably knew what he was doing. He further told her to get fully undressed, and then proceeded to tell her she was dry. The woman asked for a lubricant, but Masango said the doctor explained that he had to make her “wet until she had an orgasm”, and after he raped her removed her mask and kissed her.
Masango said what shocked them was the failure to verify the professional, because “even when hiring a cleaner an ID is required”.
“We pointed out that he (the hiring doctor) had gone against all professional ethics and procedures.”
The organisation also approached the Health Professions Council, to ask if it knew of the suspect, but the body said he was not registered with them.
Masango said they then learnt that the “doctor” had previously worked for a Pretoria West hospital. When they approached that hospital said they too were looking for him, because he had also allegedly raped a patient there, and had been on the run after the 2019/20 incident.
Management at the hospital was still engaging all parties to determine a course of the action, and the doctor said to have hired the accused, was not reachable to respond to the reports. Police said they were leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of the suspect, as “no accused person should disappear without answering to crimes made against them”.