PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Unrestrained
 
Comments: 6
Article views: 0
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Unrestrained's badges.
 

Motsoaledi may have been onto something!

13 December 2011, 15:00
Do we all remember the ridiculous strike action, which rocked our essential services to their cores, towards the end of 2010?  It’s old news now. However, a very important consideration recently came to light; one that could and should be used in future, when considering the consequences of strike action. This kind of thing seems to happen regularly and something needs to be done about it.

 

South Africa’s Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, said, in the heat of it, that the actions of certain striking individuals amounted to murder. Whether he said this, based on his emotions, or, whether he had looked into the law, is a matter of speculation. Either way, he may well have had a very good point. There is a mechanism, through which murder charges may have been made to stick and it may be an option worth pursuing, in the future, so as to provide South Africans with the sense of justice, of which they are deserving and in need. This mechanism has recently been invoked in the matter against the taxi driver, Jacob Humphreys, in order to find him guilty of murder and it is a mechanism that I believe should be used a lot more.

 

You see, if we were to charge those people, from essential services, who took part in the strike, no doubt, their defence would be that they did not intend for anyone to die. But, people did die, certain of whom would not have died, but for the strike action and intention is not as simple a legal concept as these people may think. We still could (and should) convict them for their morally reprehensible actions.

 

The mechanism that we could use to achieve this is the legal concept of dolus eventualis, a form of intention that caters perfectly to the bahaviour displayed by NEHAWU and certain of its members. You see, one needs not to have had the unlawful consequence (in this case death) as an objective or aim. Instead, if the prosecution can prove that the accused foresaw the consequence, even as a remote possibility and, despite such foresight, reconciled him/herself to that possibility, the law is capable of imposing the required intent onto the accused.

 

Thus, for example, if the prosecution could show that those hooligans, who blocked hospital entrances, flooded and raided operating theatres (removing nurses from attending to anaesthetised patients) foresaw, even as a slight possibility, that a patient could die as a consequence, the courts may be inclined to extend the required intent, so as to convict them on a charge of murder (where patients died) or for attempted murder (where the patients lived).

 

What of the union leaders who, initially, give the go-ahead for the unprotected strike action? The Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 is quite clear that strike action is not permitted in the case of essential services, the definition of which, according to section 213 is: “the interruption of which endangers the life, personal safety or health of the whole or any part of the population.” The fact that this applies and always did apply to health workers was confirmed by the interdict obtained, which prevented these people from engaging in further strike action.

 

However, people still died before the interdictory relief was granted. It would, surely, not be difficult to prove that union leaders foresaw that, as a consequence of their giving the go-ahead to strike, their minions would strike, people would be deprived of (or actively disrupted during) essential services and would die as a consequence. Yet, they accepted this possibility and gave the order. Even if they did not wish for people to die, dolus eventualis should apply in this case. One is simply not permitted to gamble with human lives.

 

At a very minimum, culpable homicide could apply, in that those, employed in essential services, had a clear legal duty to care for those in need (i.e. not to go on strike, as per the LRA). They willingly neglected this duty and people died as a consequence. 

 

What kind of society do we live in, where human lives have come to mean less than a percentage of a monthly salary? Union leaders and health workers in essential services held this country hostage, in circumstances where they were not permitted to do so. They displayed flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of the country, as a whole, and for the lives of many individuals that were lost, in consequence. The only reason that these people have not lost their jobs is because everyone appreciates that it would be too difficult to replace them all and train other people. This is the leverage that they used and this is why it may be worth looking into making an example of their leaders.

 

Now that the strike is well over and the death toll is capable of being tallied, it may be worthwhile to haul a few of them before a judge and charge them with murder or attempted murder. Justice is two-pronged. It is both restorative and retributive. This country deserves some form of retribution, for having been manipulated in the way that it was. Not only would sending a few of these people to prison achieve a sense of justice, but would discourage future shenanigans, of the kind that we saw in 2010. Health workers displayed a complete lack of social responsibility and, perhaps, the only way to instill it in them would be to make an example of a few of their own.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
b.agnostic
16 Days of Activism – A Travesty

Roughly 4 % of the year we try not to be too mean to the two most beautiful things on earth. Read more...

0 comments 18 views
Submitted by
Rochelle Sastri
Where have we failed?

In a few days, the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse starts. Read more...

1 comments 25 views
Submitted by
atheitisgodfrey
What colour of car do you drive?

Black or white? Google is my friend and I found that some interesting research has been done into this issue. Read more...

9 comments 536 views
Submitted by
hzcummi
The Truth of Genesis: The Sad Tr...

This is the second chapter of six of the series. In Genesis chapter ten, just as Ham failed to instruct Canaan, Cush failed to instruct Nimrod, who ended up wanting other men to worship him as a god. Read more...

60 comments 1940 views
Submitted by
Kelvin Esiasa
Public servant needs to be recogn...

Motivation theories teach us that it is important to motivate employees if an organisation wishes to succeed.  Read more...

4 comments 273 views
Submitted by
Serute William Ramaila
Service delivery issues

The community of Mokgolobotho village in Limpopo Province has staged a legal protest march on the 08 October 2014 but to date the municipality has not responded. Read more...

12 comments 467 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.