An elderly man died of a heart attack in a Cape Flats mall after a Clicks nurse allegedly refused to help him.
The pensioner from Bonteheuwel then went to the MTN store in Vangate Mall where he collapsed and died on Tuesday.
Alfred Haskell, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday, went to the mall to buy a new memory card for his cellphone before getting chest pains and had difficulty breathing.
Witness Faiza Isaacs says the retired metal sheet worker managed to make his way to the Clicks pharmacy thinking the nurse on duty could assist.
Faiza says: “He went to the nurse to ask her for help because he couldn’t breathe, and she refused to help him.”
When she saw Alfred leaving Clicks soon after, she went to confront the nurse.
“She said she couldn’t help him because it’s against company policy,” an angry Faiza says.
She says Alfred was “shivering with pain” as he walked to the MTN shop where he collapsed.
Two off-duty paramedics came to his aid and tried to resuscitate him before calling an ambulance.
Alfred’s son, Shaun, says he was at home when the manager of the MTN store called him to say his dad had collapsed.
A distraught Shaun said yesterday: “He never had any health problems, no diabetes, no hypertension, no nothing.”
He says paramedics tried to revive his dad for an hour and a half, before finally giving up.
“They said he died of a heart attack. My father’s death has come as a big shock to me and the family. There was no sign telling us that he was sick or in pain. I saw him yesterday before he went to the mall, and he was fine,” adds Shaun.
But Clicks communications officer Susann Caminada says their nurse is not to be blamed for Alfred’s death.
“She was in consultation with a patient during the incident and was not aware of the emergency, until she was called by a customer to assist,” she says.
“She then looked for the patient in-store, but did not find him. Upon returning to her clinic, she was confronted by a customer to find out why she had not assisted. By this time, emergency services personnel were on the scene and her services were not required.”
Clicks COO, Vikesh Ramsunder, says the company is “greatly saddened” by Alfred’s death and sent his condolences to the family.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut says a death inquest case docket has been registered and that no foul play is suspected.