Nurse critical after attack

2010-09-04 19:36

Johannesburg - Another nurse was in critical condition on Saturday after being attacked by striking workers in the third week of a devastating public sector boycott.

A nurse at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto was rushed to Milpark Hospital on Friday evening after being badly beaten by striking workers for turning up to work, hospital sources told the German Press Agency dpa.

The nurse sustained serious head and neck injuries, a doctor at the hospital told dpa.

The attack was the second of its kind on a nurse in the past 48 hours. On Thursday, a nurse had been stabbed at a hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

Since around one million public servants went on strike on August 18 - closing schools countrywide and bringing hospitals to a near standstill - several non-striking teachers and nurses have been attacked or had their property damaged.

One nurse was abducted by picketing workers on Monday and held for several hours before being released unharmed.

The government is offering the workers a 7.5% pay increase. The strikers are demanding 8.6%. They also disagree on the amount of a housing allowance and other benefits.

This week saw a large number of teachers and nurses return to work to avoid losing more pay as the state docks the strikers' wages.