When Bernice Robertson viewed footage from the hidden camera she had planted in her 84-year-old mother’s nursing home, she couldn’t believe her eyes.
The tape showed Hope Robertson being assaulted by caregiver Ncediswa Mkenkcele, and not only was the nurse caught shoving the frail woman onto her bed, but she was also seen punching her in the face.
Bernice says she originally set up the camera after her mother, who cannot speak due to throat cancer, suffered an unexplained broken arm and had suspicious bruises and swollen marks on her body. The beatings were captured in February of this year.
“There were not enough good reasons as to what happened to her from the staff, other than that she had fallen off the bed or bumped herself,” Bernice explains to Herald Live. “It really has been a traumatic experience for me and my family. I saw my mother being beaten and pushed around.”
The nursing facility where the incident occurred, Lily Kirchmann Complex, has released a statement confirming they met with the Shepherd family.
“We apologized unreservedly for the alleged assaults against her,” Berea Gardens Retirement Foundation executive director Mike Schulze said. He added, “to the best of my knowledge, [this] is the first case of this nature in the history of the foundation.”
Ncediswa has since been arrested and charged with assault after Bernice took the footage to police in East London. The former staffer, who resigned from her post after being confronted over the tape, had her first court appearance on May 5.
Here’s hoping Bernice’s mother gets the justice she so rightfully deserves.