Two killed in hospital shootout

2016-07-14 14:11
(File)

(File)

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Pietermaritzburg - The ongoing protest by outsourced workers at a number of government hospitals in Durban reached a boiling point yesterday when two people, believed to be among the protesters, were shot dead at King Edward VIII Hospital on Wednesday.

Contract workers, largely security guards and cleaners, at hospitals including King Edward VIII, Prince Mshiyeni, King Dinuzulu, Wentworth and Mahatma Gandhi, have been demanding to be permanently employed by the Health Department.

Department spokesperson Desmond Motha said it is believed that the two “unknown armed men” entered the hospital and a shootout ensued with security guards on duty. A guard was shot in the leg and was treated at the trauma unit.

A nurse was also allegedly assaulted while walking from the matron’s office to the hospital’s transport department.

In the wake of the incident, Durban residents raised concerns about the safety of patients, while others were worried about whether they would be able to get home by walking past the hospital after a message spread that another mob was forming outside the facility.

In a statement, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said he condemned the incident in the “strongest possible terms”.

“This is a very unfortunate and unnecessary incident. I would like to once again urge any aggrieved individuals to desist from perpetrating acts of violence, and instead follow the appropriate channels, using recognised labour formations, to air their grievances,” he said.

“We also wish to call upon law enforcement authorities to work to ensure that people who break the law, or those behind acts of sabotage, are apprehended and made to face the full might of the law.”

Dhlomo also praised the security guards “for being alert at all hours”.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said the two men were fatally shot by three others.

“Two counts of murder are being investigated by Umbilo SAPS. A 25-year-old suspect was arrested for two counts of murder. He will appear in court soon.”

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  shooting
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