Security guards sentenced

QUTHING — Two security guards who barred patients from entering a government clinic were last week slapped with five-year jail terms each or pay a fine of M10 000 each for violating the Internal Security Act of 1984.

The sentence was however suspended for five years on condition that they do not commit a similar offence.

Under the Act it is an offence to intentionally interfere or prevent the carrying out of an essential service.

Evidence presented in court showed that Paseka Ramochele, 23, and Seoli Hlothoane, 24, blocked patients from entering the premises of Tsatsane health clinic on 29 July without valid reasons.

The two security guards only opened the clinic gates at 9am, two hours late, after a senior nurse phoned her superiors at Quthing government hospital to contact the police.

The guards pleaded guilty.

They begged the court to be lenient arguing they closed the gates because their employer had failed to pay them their salaries since June.

Magistrate Rabuka Chalatsi said the two committed a serious offence and had put the lives of patients at risk. — Lena.

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