Nehawu Parliament protesters turn to rousing hymns

2015-11-12 11:42
Nehawu members protest outside Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

Nehawu members protest outside Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Thursday is expected to be ''do or die'' for Parliament's striking National Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) workers, branch secretary Thabang Malusi told a few hundred protesting workers gathered on the precinct.

Malusi told them they must get ready for war, as a crisis meeting between Nehawu and Parliament's secretary Gengezi Mgidlana scheduled for 10:00 was pushed to 11:00.

At times only one uniformed police officer could be seen watching the protesters, who were singing and clapping between the National Council of Provinces building and the Marks building, which houses opposition MPs.

- Read more: Nehawu, Parliament battle to resolve issues

Nehawu workers downed tools on Friday in what Mgidlana said was regarded as unlawful, because they did not declare a dispute over some of the terms of a labour agreement, as is the normal procedure.

An interdict pasted at the entrances to the precinct informed workers that they cannot disrupt proceedings or harm anybody during their dispute.

This was after Wednesday's scenes of stun grenades and angry confrontation with police who tried to remove them.

In the meantime, while they waited for Nehawu's national leadership to arrive for the meeting, they sang a rousing isiXhosa version of the hymn ''What a friend we have in Jesus'' - a seeming apartheid-era tactic where protesters enjoyed a level of reprieve from police if they sang religious songs or prayed during gatherings considered illegal.

''Parliament has got a powerful choir,'' one protester commented.

Mgidlana said Nehawu was trying renegotiate issues such as a performance bonus.

Interdict outside Parliament (Jenni Evans, News24)

Read more on:    nehawu  |  cape town  |  labour  |  parliament 2015  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.