Pretoria—A 65-year-old woman who was raped in a ward in the Pretoria Academic Hospital has died, police said on Tuesday.
“The hospital has informed us of the death of the woman and charges against the suspect will be changed to include murder,” police spokesperson Inspector Percy Morokane said.
Morokane said the cause of death would be determined by a post-mortem scheduled to be performed later on Tuesday.
The woman was attacked, allegedly by a 30-year-old Mozambican national, as she slept in an otherwise empty ward on the fourth floor at 04:00 on Monday, police said. Two nurses on duty were doing their rounds at the time.
She had been recovering from an operation for stomach cancer at the time of the attack.
It appears the man simply wandered into the woman’s ward and attacked her.
The nurses heard the woman’s screams and rushed to see what was wrong. Not expecting anyone in the ward at that time of the morning, they too yelled when they ran into the alleged rapist, said Morokane.
The commotion roused a security guard, who arrested the fleeing man, he said.
A hospital doctor called to the scene confirmed that the woman had been raped. She was operated on only a few days ago.
Her alleged assailant had been handed over to the police and was in custody at Pretoria’s central police station. He would probably appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Wednesday, said Morokane.
A report on 702 news stated that the hospital’s chief executive, Dr Ernest Kinoshe, said a medical examination did not show signs of sexual assault.
Morokane said the police had not been informed of this and would have to confirm the validity of the statement with the hospital.