A black nurse caught beating a white pensioner at an upmarket East London home for the frail was due to make her second appearance in court yesterday.
Assaults on Lily Kirchmann Complex resident Hope Shepherd, 84, on February 3 and again on February 23 were captured on a secret camera in a television set at the home.
A 15-minute-long spy camera footage allegedly show nursing staffer Ncediswa Mkenkcele punching Shepherd with her fists in the face.
Mkenkcele is said to also have bashed Shepherd against the head with a deodorant can.
She allegedly ends the assault by spraying deodorant into a breathing hole in Shepherd’s throat. The elderly woman has throat cancer.
Mkenkcele was arrested on March 23.
Police spokesman Captain Mluleki Mbi said the Duncan Village resident was charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
“She appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on March 24 and her case was postponed to May 5 for further investigation,” Mbi said.
Mkenkcele was not asked to plead and was released on warning.
Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation executive director Mike Schulze said there had been a meeting with the Shepherd family.
“We apologised unreservedly for the alleged assaults against her,” he said.
“The employee involved resigned immediately on being confronted.”
Robertson planted the camera on December 31 when her mother sustained an unexplained broken arm.
Days before she had noticed bruises and swollen marks on her mother’s body.
“There were not enough good reasons as to what happened to her from the staff, other than that she had fallen off the bed or bumped herself,” Robertson said.
In February, she noticed her mother had a blue eye.
She then viewed the footage on her camera and saw the assaults. She immediately notified complex management.
“It really has been a traumatic experience for me and my family. I saw my mother being beaten and pushed around,” Robertson said.
She had moved her mother from the home to a facility in Selborne, but her mother was confused and suffering from flashbacks, she said.
Clients pay as much as R14 000 a month for their loved ones to be cared for at Lily Kirchmann.
Schulze said in addition to the criminal charges, the foundation had met with all nursing staff at Lily Kirchmann to again stress the foundation’s zerotolerance policy on abuse.
Letters had also been sent to the residents’ families. – The East London Herald