Court rules against strikers

2010-08-21 17:53

Johannesburg - The Labour Court has granted the State an interdict on Saturday prohibiting workers in essential services from participating in the public servants strike, the government said.

The interdict also aims to prevent workers, such as nurses and teachers, from intimidating or assaulting non-striking employees and members of the public. It also aims to prevent the damage of any property belonging to the state or the erection of obstructions to any State property.

This follows on the heels of an interdict granted to the Gauteng provincial government on Friday.

The Labour Court also ordered that the public sector unions that are participating in the strike will pay the costs of the interdict application.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko welcomed the interdict saying: "The country has witnessed unacceptable behaviour such as the disruption of schools, prevention of medical staff from performing essential health treatment of desperately ill patients, prevention of citizens from accessing hospitals and clinics and the intimidation and assault of learners who were trying to continue with their studies".

He said that anyone who committed any acts of criminality during the strike would be prosecuted and that dedicated courts had been set up to deal with cases of transgressions related to the strike.

"Government calls on union leaders to impress upon their members that while they have the right to strike, they also have the responsibility to ensure that the rights of citizens are respected at all times".