Fired over toilet photos

AN ELECTRICIAN at Groote Schuur hospital, one of Cape Town's major public hospitals, was fired for publishing photos of blocked hospital toilets on Facebook.

Johan Beaurain was dismissed two weeks ago by the hospital for "gross insubordination" after he ignored management's instructions that he should stop complaining about the toilets on Facebook.

Beaurain says the blocked toilets are a health and safety hazard because the air conditioning system circulates air from the blocked toilets into the hospital wards.

He posted this comment on Facebook a week before he was fired.

"It is really not nice to walk around in Groote Schuur hospital because the air that circulates through the air conditioning system is totally rotten as a result of the blocked toilets," Beaurain said.

He was first suspended in December for distributing a petition calling for clean toilets at the hospital.

He says hospital managers told him he was "exaggerating" the problem because they were pouring chemicals over the faeces in the blocked toilets regularly.

National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union shop steward Constance Kgosana said Nehawu would appeal Beaurain's dismissal.

"Beaurain had both a legal right and duty to act in the public interest by calling attention to the hazardous public health and safety issues," Kgosana said.

Groote Schuur spokesperson Alaric Jacobs said he could not comment immediately.