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Probe into abuse allegations at Durban mental health organisation

Management at Durban and Coastal Mental Health Home says it's addressing a series of abuse claims levelled against the organisation - including the most recent, that a patient was sexually assaulted on Tuesday night.

Abuse victim
Gallo Images

Speaking to the media yesterday, executive director Gita Harrie said the matter has already been reported to the police.

"The family was contacted immediately. The client concerned has been taken for medical attention. According to the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator is a person also with mental disabilities," Harrie said. 

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The organisation has found itself at the centre of massive controversy since earlier this month - when damning media reports began surfacing. 

Meanwhile, DA spokesperson for Health in KZN, Imran Keeka says he will be making unannounced visits to mental health care facilities in the province to guard against another Life Esidimeni tragedy. 

Keeka conducted an oversight visit to the facility in Durban's Sherwood area yesterday. 

He said he was largely satisfied with what he saw and says the organisation is addressing the issues raised. Keeka warned that he will be returning. 

"I've also mentioned to the facility management that although my visit today was announced, it will not always be the case. I will arrive unannounced, on a regular basis, not only at this institution but at other mental health organisations across the province. We don't want an occurrence of another Life Esidimeni incident under our watch," Keeka said.  

A full media statement is expected today. 

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