Special sitting: MPLs condemn violence

2010-08-25 00:00

POLITICAL parties represented in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature condemned the violent behavior of public service strikers during a special sitting convened by Premier Zweli Mkhize in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Mkhize called the sitting to brief MPSs about the impact of the strike on the provision of government services.

Lionel Mtshali and Bonginkosi Buthelezi of the Inkatha Freedom Party and Tom Stokes and John Steenhuizen of the Democratic Alliance called on government to take action to ensure that rights of pupils and patients are not violated.

Steenhuizen said “every party in the legislature condemned the illegal activities of the strikers and government must start acting”.

Mkhize emphasised that the government respects and recognises the right for employees to embark on a strike, but he pointed out that the industrial action witnessed in the past week has shown “extreme callousness and inhuman actions unexpected in our country in this day and age, such as attacks on nurses, doctors and patients, withholding of goods to patients, sabotaging the operations of health services in various ways”.

In eThekwini, the premier said, more than 300 patients, mostly in surgical wards and intensive care units, have been transferred to private facilities at an estimated cost of R1 million.

Education has been hit the hardest, however. The premier said more than 2,5 million pupils in most schools were forced to shut down due to threats and intimidation.

Most pensions and social grants have not been paid following intimidation of staff members.

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