SAHRC criticises health workers’ arrest

2014-07-11 13:15
SAHRC (Picture: Sapa)

SAHRC (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission on Friday criticised the arrest of more than 100 health workers for staging a sit-in at the Free State health department.

It was understood most of the workers were women protesting against the state of the province's health care system and the alleged firing of around 3000 community health workers, SAHRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said in a statement.

The commission on various occasions had expressed its grave concern about the state of public health care facilities across South Africa.

This had been done through its report on health care in the country, socio-economic rights reports, and findings it had made on violations of the right to access health care.

"We will therefore continue to monitor the situation in the Free State and engage directly with provincial and national government officials on this matter," he said.

The workers were arrested in Bloemfontein on Thursday morning.

The Treatment Action Campaign said at the time the workers, mostly older women, and the TAC took part in a vigil in an attempt to speak out against the failings and collapse of the Free State health system.

The vigil was staged after health workers failed to gain an audience with health MEC Benny Malakoane.

TAC general secretary Anele Yawa said TAC had previously demanded a meeting with Malakoane following a sit-in at Bophelo House on 27 June.

The workers were expected to apply for bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Friday, Yawa said.

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