Security beefed up at 4 Durban hospitals after shootout

2016-07-15 16:11
Hospital. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Hospital. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban – Security has been beefed up around some Durban hospitals following a confrontation between strikers and security guards at King Edward VIII that left two people dead on Wednesday, the KwaZulu-Natal government said on Friday.  

Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Mxolisi Kaunda and Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, in a joint statement, said the move was to protect patients and staff members at four provincial hospitals highly affected by the labour unrest resulting from staff demanding to be made permanent employees. 

Kaunda, Dhlomo and acting provincial police commissioner General Bhekinkosi Langa visited the hospital where a group of men had opened fire at security guards at around 03:00 on Wednesday morning.

Two people were killed in the incident, while a security guard was shot and wounded. One of the intruders, who was believed to be part of the on-going illegal protest, was arrested.

The visit was aimed at assessing the situation and engaging with security structures and organised labour on plans to improve security at the hospitals.

The province said the seven hospitals affected by the latest unrest included Mahatma Ghandi Hospital, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, King Dinuzulu Hospital and King Edward VIII Hospital.

Kaunda said: "Anyone who is violating the law will be dealt with. There is a court order which needs to be enforced, which prohibits protesters to protest in proximity of 500m. Police have agreed to beef up security to ensure the safety of patience and hospital staff."

Dhlomo welcomed the interventions of the Safety MEC and the police.

"Our staff members are now fearing for their lives and this situation is unacceptable. We welcome the intervention to beef up security and to increase police visibility."

He said they were willing to address all issues, but this had to be done within the parameters of the law.

"Our mandate is to deliver health service to people and that must be done without anyone threatening the lives of our staff."

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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