A nursing assistant has been fired along with hundreds of striking workers despite having documented proof that she was in hospital at the time.
The KwaZulu-Natal health department issued an ultimatum to the nurses two weeks ago to end their illegal strike and return to work within 12 hours or face being fired.
But the nursing assistant from Edendale Hospital, who did not want to be named, claims she had not taken part in the strike.
The nurses were striking over unpaid rural allowances they had been waiting for since 2005.
She said when she reported for duty on Friday she was served with a letter of dismissal with immediate effect.
"I was stunned," she said. "At first I thought it was a joke."
She said a security guard was called to escort her off the premises even though she produced documents proving she had been ill.
Spokesman for the Department of Health Leon Mbangwa yesterday confirmed that they had dismissed nurses who did not comply with the ultimatum.
The hospitals most affected by the strike were Prince Mshiyeni, Edendale, Mfolozi and Ngwelezane.