Alex health centre shuts doors as cops probe patient's murder

Staff and patients at the Alexandra Community Health Centre are traumatised after witnessing a man being stabbed to death in the emergency section on Sunday morning, the Gauteng health department said.

A group of unknown people had followed a man to the emergency facility in the early hours and started stabbing him while a health worker attended to him, said department spokesperson Khutso Rabothata.

"The staff (nurses, doctors and support) had to run for their lives and are greatly traumatised. 

"At that time there were other patients including children who witnessed this senseless behaviour and no doubt they [would have been] been left traumatised."

It was not yet clear what the motive for the stabbing was.

Provincial Health MEC, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa was outraged and saddened by the attack.

She visited the facility with some of her officials, who listened to staff and spoke with police.

The centre was temporarily closed until further notice as police officers processed the crime scene, the department said.

The area also had to be cleaned before the doors could be opened again to the public.

According to the department, nearby health facilities were already overburdened with absorbing patients who would have used the health centre.

Debriefing and counselling was being made available to those affected by the attack.

"We further call on the community to work with Police in ensuring that suspects in this crime are apprehended. Police have been requested to have high visibility during this period and the department will ensure measures are taken to strengthen security services," said Ramokgopa.

Gauteng police were not immediately available to comment.