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Business as usual despite strike

By unknown | Jun 15, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sowetan Reporters

Sowetan Reporters

It was business as usual in many parts of the country yesterday with only pockets of protests and intimidation reported after yesterday's national shutdown.

In Polokwane, Limpopo, about 500 marchers handed over a memorandum to health and social development MEC Seaparo Sekoati demanding the withdrawal of dismissal letters given to officials of the department.

The protest was led by provincial Cosatu chairman Willie Mokwalakwala.

About 20 nurses from various hospitals in the province were dismissed this week for joining the strike.

The situation at Leratong Hospital, west of Johannesburg, was tense when South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) and National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union members picketed outside the hospital against non-strikers.

The picketers attempted to enter the hospital but the army and police prevented them.

Sadtu's Ronald Nyathi said the picketers met at Leratong because the hospital had the highest number of employees reporting for duty.

In Mpumalanga strikers continued to march to several hospitals and clinics to demand wage increases.

A group of strikers marched to Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek and to KaNyamazane clinic outside Nelspruit, where nurses joined them during lunch hour.

About 30 pregnant women were turned away by striking nurses at Thekwane South Clinic near Nelspruit. But no violence was reported.

In North West the situation was calm and all government offices were closed.

Protesters continued picketing and intimidating non- strikers at most provincial hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.

There was a bomb scare at Wentworth Hospital and workers on duty had to vacate the area until bomb-squad officials gave them the all-clear.

Retail and other outlets opened for the day while taxi and bus operators turned out in full force.

This despite threats that the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance would continue with the stayaway in support of the public sector protest.

State hospitals in the province continued to operate with skeleton staff despite the sacking of nurses earlier this week.

Reports of intimidation of health workers in the wards were received from most hospitals in the province.


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