THE South African Human Rights Commission said it would write formal letters to the Gauteng Department of Health and Mamelodi Day Hospital management.

The commission inspected the hospital on Tuesday after an elderly patient, Martha Marais (76) was handcuffed to a steel bench.

The commission took a tour of the hospital and saw where gogo Martha was handcuffed.

Staff and patients told the commission about their problems at the hospital.

The commission’s Buang Jones said they will demand accountability from management.

Jones said they had visited five hospitals in the province and found the health system was compromised.

He said the Mamelodi hospital needed to be extended to serve communities around it.

“We are concerned about infrastructure but also about the lack of ventilation in casualty,” he said.

He said the hospital should get a permanent CEO to ensure stability.

“The shortage of staff is a huge problem. I hope the new government will prioritise health care.

“They must prioritise filling of posts, especially nurses and specialists,” he said.

He said staff shortage led to low staff morale.

“It leads to absenteeism, fatigue and patient dissatisfaction,” he said.

He said the hospital was co-operative and assisted them during their tour.