THE Eastern Cape Health Department will investigate an incident where an awaiting trial prisoner died, allegedly after being refused treatment by health workers.
Sources close to the situation told Daily Sunthe inmate was left to die in his Mount Frere prison cell.
It happened after he was allegedly rejected by Madzikane Ka Zulu Hospital last Monday. The sources said the prisoner had been sick for some time and had been taken to the hospital twice.
He died of an undisclosed illness after his second visit to the hospital.
It happened after the nurses allegedly refused to treat him because he was ‘dirty’ and smelled bad.
The source could not confirm the condition of the inmate when he got to the hospital. Another source confirmed the prisoner was dirty and had not bathed when he was taken to hospital.
“Inmates have no one to help them in prison and have to wait until the court orders that they be taken to hospital,” said the source.
Siyanda Manana, a spokesman for the health department, said nurses requested the cops to help them with the patient, but the officers refused.
“The police then brought two other inmates from the holding cells to carry the sick prisoner, because they could not stand the smell. The nurses requested they take him to the cells and bath him and bring him back, but they never returned,” Manana said.
The health department said it could not comment further as an internal investigation was underway.
Zama Feni, spokesman for the provincial correctional services, referred the enquiry to the cops, as the prisoner had not yet been convicted. The police had not yet responded to Daily Sun’s enquiry at the time of going to print.