Villagers threaten mass action

A STORM is brewing at St Ritas Hospital in the Sekhukhune area of Limpopo where angry villagers at Glen Cowie and GaMoloi havethreatened to render the institution ungovernable.

The threat of a strike comes after intense allegations that the recent elections for the hospital's board were flawed.

Sowetan was informed yesterday that mass action was in the pipeline. The hospital itself is already in a state of decay, with under-staffing and a shortage of medication among its list of problems.

Otto Magolego, of the SA National Civics Organisation, said that the current board chairperson Sam Malaka had intimidated voters during the elections. Malaka is also the chief whip in the Makhuduthamaga local municipality.

It is understood that the elections were conducted by staff members of the hospital, instead of officials from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

"In the absence of IEC officials, the elections were conducted by incompetent and dishonest people. There was no appropriate ink to mark those who had voted and, in the process, people voted more than once," Magolego claimed.

He also alleged that some senior staff members demanded sexual favours from females applying for jobs at the hospital.

Newly appointed provincial health spokesperson Roleta Lebelo said she was unaware of the developments and promised to investigate.