Health workers step up calls to get MEC Dhlomo fired

2018-12-14 15:30
Nehawu members intensified their calls for Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to be axed.

Nehawu members intensified their calls for Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to be axed. (Sabelo Nsele)

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Members of the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) intensified their calls on Thursday for Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to be axed. 

They held a demonstration at the department’s head office at Natalia, accusing Dhlomo of bringing the department to near collapse.

Before marching to Natalia, Nehawu members made a brief stop at the Pietermaritzburg Police Station, where they demanded an update on the case they had opened against Dhlomo.

Nehawu regional secretary Zimasile Giyama said since they opened the case of inciting violence against Dhlomo two weeks ago, police had not even been able to give them the case number.

The case was opened after armed family members arrived at the Fort Napier mortuary and forcefully took the body of their loved one from the bodies that had been piling up at the mortuary since Nehawu members began their go-slow.

“We opened a case against Dhlomo, but they have not arrested him, yet they are quick to arrest workers who are protesting about poor working conditions.

“Police are interfering in a labour dispute between employees and the department,” he said.

While Nehawu members sang and danced outside the police station reducing traffic on Jabu Ndlovu Street to one lane, Nehawu leaders went inside to demand progress on the case.

Giyama said they had been told by the police station’s leadership that officers had forgotten to send them the case number. Nehawu regional chairperson Sikhumbuzo Mdlalose, who is also Cosatu provincial chairperson, said they were still not satisfied by the answers given by police officers.

“Our province is like Animal Farm. It is easy for police to arrest workers but they do not want to arrest politicians when we open cases against them.

“We struggled just to get the case number and the update on the case. We want them to appoint an investigating officer in the case and we want justice to be served,” he said.

Mdlalose said Thursday’s demonstration at the Department of Health offices was a warning shot as they were preparing to go on strike early next year, where they would be calling for Dhlomo’s removal.

Police did not respond to queries sent on Thursday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn health department

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