South Africa

Martha Marais dies 17 months after degrading ordeal of being tied to hospital bench

Martha Marais dies 17 months after degrading ordeal of being tied to hospital bench

Martha Marais dies a year after degrading ordeal of being tied to hospital bench 

Martha Marais, the pensioner who made headlines after being filmed tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital, has died.

Marais died at the Eersterust Association and Community Health Centre (Each) in Eersterust, Pretoria, on Friday.

Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler said that Marais died a “few hours after visiting her children and celebrating her son Vernon's birthday”.

The Gauteng health department compensated her family after a video showing Marais tied to a bench, as she waited for treatment in May 2019, ignited public outrage.

The footage prompted the department to launch an investigation into the incident.

Implicated employees, including a nurse and security guard, were put on special leave.

The settlement agreement, reached in January, was facilitated by the SA Human Rights Commission.

Former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku took full responsibility for the incident.

“I am not going to separate the department and the staff members involved, hence the apology,” Masuku said at the time.

“We are not going to be punitive, because we understand the challenges that our health workers work within, but we have entered a process which we will share with the Human Rights Commission and the family on the processes that we have taken in addressing all the issues of training, rehabilitation and general management of the hospital.”

Keppler thanked the public for their prayers and support for Marais.

“The family of Ouma Marais — who was tied to a bench at the Mamelodi Hospital last year — would like to thank everyone, especially the staff at Each, for their unselfish care and love and all those who prayed for Ouma Marais,” said Keppler.

“Funeral details will follow soon. May Ouma Marais' soul rest in perfect peace.”

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