Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
Osindisweni Hospital, north of Durban, was forced to transfer most of its patients to other hospitals after striking health workers locked up all the medicines and took the keys.
As a result, the only doctor on duty and several army medical officers available could not provide the patients with medication.
The cupboards were locked by striking hospital staff on Friday night to prevent the doctor and South African National Defence Force personnel from accessing the drugs. Locking up the drugs was part of the striking nurses' strategy to deny patients food, healthcare and to shutdown the hospital completely.
"We have absolutely nothing to work with, things are so tough, I just feel sorry for the poor patients," said an SANDF nurse.
On Friday a group of protesters gathered at the hospital gate and toyi-toyied.
The group, comprising of teachers, cleaners, nurses, social workers and court orderlies burnt tyres to prevent vehicles from entering or leaving the hospital. They demanded the immediate closure of the hospital.
Yesterday there was not a single nurse on duty except for SANDF nurses.
A security guard had to abandon her duties to help take care of babies at the nursery. The only doctor on duty had to attend to 44 patients and four women in their final stages of labour.
However, the protesters allowed SANDF nurses to care only for pregnant women and new-born babies.