DENOSA Mpumalanga horrified by fatal shooting of two nurses and their brother in Bushbuckridge
MBOMBELA – The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Mpumalanga is horrified by the killing of two nurses, who are DENOSA members, and their brother by a policeman in Bushbuckridge on 1 May in another act of Gender-Based Violence + Femicide (GBV+F) in South Africa and we call for tough justice to be served on behalf of the three victims.
We call on the justice system to take note of this consistent phenomenon where the police are often the common denominator in the committing of a criminal act of GBV+F. Let a strong message be sent to the South African Police Service (SAPS) that it must get its house in order and address the glaring psychological trauma effects that many policemen seem to suffer from before many more women and community members fall victim to their guns.
The two nurses, Nomthandazo Mnisi and Colisile Mnisi, who are siblings together with their elderly brother, Dennis Mkhatshwa, were gunned down by the husband of the big sister nurse, Nomthandazo, following a quarrel with her husband, who is a police officer. It is alleged that in the middle of the discussion by the two families over the issue of the frequent domestic violence between the couple, the policeman went to his bedroom and came back with his service pistol and shot randomly at the wife’s family members, killing the two sisters and their brother. He later handed himself over to the police. Nomthandazo and Colisile were working nurses at Marite Clinic and Matikwane Hospital respectively in Mkhuhlu.
As DENOSA, we are horrified and tired of these consistent acts of GBV+F on nurses in the country. The sad loss of three siblings by a single family, and two members of DENOSA in good standing, is too much to accept and is the most difficult disaster for their family to be consoled.
For the nursing profession and the community, the loss is equally deeper because the nurses have been lost at the time when the country is experiencing a serious shortage of nurses due to the low intake of students to study nursing at government colleges these days. And Mpumalanga only has one nursing college for the whole province.
The younger sibling had just assumed her job as a qualified nurse in April 2023 after her recent graduation. The impact that their absence will have on the nursing services to communities will be huge.
That these nurses were lost to a policeman, another public servant, who should actually be their protector, speaks so much about the psychological challenges that the many men in blue face which needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.
Many nurses have perished in the hands of their police partners. The communities have just been deprived of two more nurses who were serving them at the time the 2020 joint Report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Council of Nurses (ICN) foresees the shortage of nurses globally reaching catastrophic levels by year 2030.
DENOSA calls for the court to deny bail to the perpetrator as one form of immediate justice to the family that has sustained a double grief.
The provincial gender structure of DENOSA in the province will lead the picketing by nurses for no bail when the perpetrator appears in court. The Gender structure will also spearhead the campaign calling on SAPS to address the psychological trauma suffered by the police, whose consequences, due to the nature of their work, often result in the victimization of their women partners as well as members of the community.