2 dead as Durban hospital strike boils over

2016-07-14 20:23

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Durban – Two people were shot dead during a confrontation between strikers and security guards at King Edward VIII hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

"We understand that one of the strikers approached the hospital and produced a firearm and the security fired on him,” said a police source with knowledge of the investigation, who did not want to be identified.

“The striker carrying the weapon was killed, along with another person," the source said.

Ongoing strike

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said police found one body at the scene, and another at the Congella Park sports field.

The victims were aged between 25 and 45. Three suspects, aged between 25 and 43, were arrested and expected to appear in court soon. Umbilo police were investigating.

It was believed the shootings, which occurred around 03:00, were related to the ongoing strike involving security guards and cleaners at a number of government hospitals in Durban. They wanted to be made permanent employees.

Zwane said the police were still investigating the possible link.

Water shortage

A source on the hospital's staff, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the press, said the hospital was on "lockdown".

"The nurses came into the wards this morning and forced all the staff out. All the people in the outpatients department had to be evacuated and now the hospital is effectively on lockdown," the source said.

The situation was compounded by a water shortage resulting from a burst water pipe.

"This has been going on for weeks," the source said.

The provincial health department has not yet responded to queries about the shooting, or where patients were moved to.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  protests

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