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Get court interdict against protesters who trashed hospital: DA

FILE PICTURE: Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg.
FILE PICTURE: Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg.
Image: Mohau Mofokeng

The Democratic Alliance has called on the Gauteng health department to obtain a court order against protesters who last week trashed parts of Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

"[They] should get a court interdict against this illegal action and police should arrest those who act violently‚" said the DA's Jack Bloom.

Hospital workers affiliated to the National Education‚ Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) embarked on strike last week over the non-payment of overtime work.

The workers‚ who include nurses and support staff such as cleaners and porters‚ are also unhappy with the hospital’s failure to pay out performance bonuses.

Protesters threw litter in the hospital’s main foyer on Thursday‚ leaving medical waste and rubbish scattered on the floors.

The hospital appeared to be only half operational.

Bloom alleged that it was not only hospital workers who were present during the strike action.

"Some EFF supporters were also amongst those who had to be expelled from the hospital [by the police]‚" said Bloom.

"Most of the protesters are Nehawu members‚ including nurses‚ cleaners and porters‚ but some outsiders have been involved as well‚" he added.

Bloom said he had visited the hospital on Thursday.

"Staff told me that rampaging workers had gone through the wards‚ intimidating them and disrupting activities. Many operations have been cancelled because of a lack of clean linen‚" he said.

"Their grievances may be valid‚ but trashing a hospital and endangering the safety of patients should not be allowed under any circumstances."

Last week‚ TimesLIVE spoke to Gracia Rikhotso‚ Nehawu Gauteng deputy secretary. She said the hospital's management and provincial health department were not willing to speak to them. “Workers are angry and feel they are being taken for granted. They put in the work but when it comes to payment there is none‚” Rikhotso said.

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