MEC orders audit of NW old age homes amid murder, rape claims

MEC orders audit of NW old age homes amid murder, rape claims

North West Social Development MEC Sussana Dantjie has ordered an audit of all old age facilities in the province following the death of an elderly man at an unregistered centre in Jericho, near Brits. 

Jericho Old Age Home Blurred
Masechaba Sefularo/Jacaranda FM News

Ipeleng Bagodi old age home has been instructed to halt operations following a murder in May and an alleged rape that reportedly occurred at the facility in January this year. 

It’s emerged that the facility was not lawfully registered in accordance with the Older Persons Act and has been operating without a license for more than a decade. 

READ: Old age home of horror: Claims of rape, assaults at NW centre

On Tuesday, Dantjie visited Ipeleng Bagodi and held a marathon meeting with her management team and other stakeholders, where the facility’s management confirmed the incidents. 

Her visit came just hours after the South African Human Rights Commission posted on X that the provincial commissioner had been to visit the facility. 

“After engaging the traditional leadership as the custodian of the centre, the management and the conclusion that satisfies everybody...

“The centre does not comply; the centre does not have any certificate that allows them to operate as a centre to take care of our elderly in terms of the [Older Persons] Act, and security is a very serious concern. We then agreed that the only way to help them is to shut down the centre for a while, and they must continue to correct all those non-compliance matters and apply for the certificate that they don’t have,” Dantjie said. 

The MEC says that upon speaking with the board, she found no malice intended but rather that those who had been running the facility were not aware of the laws that govern such institutions. 

“I’ve instructed the head of the department that it means we must go throughout the province, ward by ward, village by village, district by district, where are these centres – and all NPOs – they must check if they comply so that we avoid situations like this one.”

She says she’s also instructed the district office to help the facility meet the compliance criteria, as the service is desperately needed in the community. 

“It’s our responsibility as a government to help them. As we shut [the facility] down, we’re giving them that space to do that, and it can be over a period of 12 months or two years, but for as long as they don’t comply and don’t have the certificate, we’re not going to allow them to operate.”

A second old age home in the same village is also facing closure. 

Jacaranda FM News has been reliably informed the home is also non-compliant and operates from an old school building.

Dantjie says they have identified aTltotlang Moila old age home for assessment and intervention by the department. 

“I said to the Department of Social Development, for fairness, they must also visit that other institution and help them. But we’re calling on our people to stop opening institutions and take care of our elderly illegally because when there are challenges, everybody will blame the government when the government is not even aware,” adds the MEC. 

Dantjie says the department’s goal is not to close centres, but to ensure such services in communities are operated legally and that they guarantee the dignified care of the elderly.


It’s emerged that prior to the death of an elderly man at Ipeleng Bagodi old age home, allegedly at the hands of two fellow residents, another death linked to the centre occurred last year. 

This is according to locals who participated in a meeting with MEC Dantjie following a directive to close the centre over serious non-compliance issues. 

At face value, it looks like access in and out of the centre is well controlled.  

But, according to the local traditional leader Tshetlo Mamogale, this was not the case last year when one of the residents reportedly left the premises unsupervised.

“This was not the first incident. The first e happened when the old man went out of the yard. I am not sure where, but they told me he went out through the fence here. He just [went] around the veld and died there.”

MEC Dantjie said security was among the many concerns highlighted during the department’s assessment of the facility.


As the winter cold bites, residents at old age home find warm spot around the yard to bask in the sun to fend off the chill. 

An elderly woman, who had been sitting in the sun with at least 20 others, uses her walking frame to make her way from the side of the pink building to the front door. With each step she takes, she stops to drag the chair she sat on earlier. 

She’s hung her blanket on the frame and placed what looks like a bag on the chair she’s pulling. It’s a slow walk, but she eventually disappears into the building. 

The gate stays locked, and it appears only a few have access to the key. A handwritten signboard at the gate stipulates the visiting hours: “Monday to Friday 10h00-16h00, weekend 11h00-17h00”. 

Jericho has long-standing water issues, and to survive, most homes have installed green Jojo Tanks. It’s not much different at the centre, where at least three such tanks are on the premises. 

Laundry hung on the washing line and along the palisade fencing. 

Occasionally, an elderly man in a red T-shirt and grey pants kneels at a corner facing the road. He appears to be picking thorns through the fence and placing them in his pocket, dropping the oranges he had stuffed in there. As soon as he leaves, another resident comes to pick up the oranges and hurries off. 

All of this happens as officials stay locked in a meeting with the MEC.

Occasionally, individuals wearing pink T-shirts and name badges come in and out of the building, and at around 4 p.m., some appear to be knocking off. One of them is heard telling another, “…tomorrow is my last day.” 

According to MEC Dantjie, five facilities across the province have been identified to relocate those who had been residing at Ipeleng Bagodi. However, the relocation will only commence once families have been consulted.  

She says those consultations are expected to begin next week. 

Dantjie says her department will publish the planned interventions by the department once they have been finalised. 

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