Protesting workers disrupt and shut down South African hospital

a post by @TraditionalMike on twitter

As many of you may be aware civil unrest is nothing unusual in South Africa it happens all across the country, very frequently and is quite often violent and disruptive. However one would hope and pray that a hospital, a place where sick people are being cared for and the injured are being treated would be a safe haven from these terrible violent actions. Sadly however this is not the case.


On the morning of Thursday May 31st staff at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital went on strike over what is alleged to be unpaid bonuses. There strike was far from a peaceful demonstration, they were downright hostile and put the very lives of patients at risk.

Staff blockaded the road leading into the hospital and  the doors to the building therefor not allowing patients to enter the building for treatments. They invaded an operating theatre while a procedure was in progress saying all the staff in the room deserve to be fired and replaced.

Only 19 our of the 50 scheduled operations for the day were performed

They chased out patients from the oncology department waiting for treatment and they broke down pharmacy door demanding work is stopped forcing patients out without their medication.

They generally ransacked and trashed the place in what can only be described as riot type behaviour. South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi address the media directly after the incident stating that the behaviour of the staff at the hospital as hooliganism. Mr Motsoaledi went on to say:

“This is not a mine or any other place of work, where you work with objects. This is a hospital where there are sick and vulnerable people, many of whom do not even know the problems between the workers and the government and they should not know. The fact that they are made victims like this is unacceptable.”

While peace and order where eventually restored and negotiations were scheduled to take place on Friday, the rioting staff vowed to continue their abhorrent and destructive behaviour until all their demands were met which would continue to put patients at risk.