Strikers abduct and threaten to kill nurse unless hospital shuts

2010-08-31 00:00

THE nurse who was abducted on her way home from work at Stanger Hospital yesterday morning has been found.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the woman, who cannot be identified for her safety, was found shocked but unharmed.

The Witness has learnt that the woman is from Pietermaritzburg, but the police would not confirm nor deny this.

It is also understood that her family was threatened.

“At this point we can’t give out details about her as she is afraid for her life and that of her family. All we can say is that she is safe and sound and unharmed. This is a very delicate matter and police are investigating a case of abduction,” said Naicker.

KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dlhomo said the nurse had phoned the nursing manager on instruction from her abductors.

He said they demanded that the hospital release all the nurses on duty. “The department received with shock and alarm the news of the abducted nurse who is one of the nurses brought in by an agency contracted to provide nursing personnel during the strike.”

She said she had been “abducted” by the strikers and did not know where she was. The strikers had demanded that the hospital management shut down the hospital and release all the workers who were within hospital premises failing which they would kill her.

“It is with regret that abductions, intimidation and assaults have come to characterise this public servants strike. We are expected to ensure that people do not infringe upon the enjoyment of our human rights,” said Dhlomo in a statement.

The department has also received reports that in Ladysmith a few of the people who worked over the weekend found their homes stoned and windows broken.

It is believed that these incidents are related to the public servant strike.

Since government was granted an interdict against striking workers, 123 people have been arrested and 89 cases of intimidation have been lodged.

“Acts of assault and intimidation cannot be tolerated. We wish to assure those who are willing to come to work to do so without fear of intimidation,” said Dhlomo.

Congress of the South African Trade Unions Zet Luzipho said he would only comment when police has completed their investigation, adding that the union does not promote violence.

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