Nehawu members remove Northdale Hospital CEO from the building

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Nehawu members escorted Edward Manyokole (wearing a black jacket and blue jeans) from Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. The group are unhappy with how the new CEO is running the facility.
Nehawu members escorted Edward Manyokole (wearing a black jacket and blue jeans) from Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. The group are unhappy with how the new CEO is running the facility.
Nompendulo Ngubane, GroundUp
  • Nehawu members removed the CEO of Northdale Hospital from the building on Tuesday.
  • They stormed some offices and spray painted walls.
  • Staff said they were being forced to buy their own protective gear and sanitiser for work.

More than 50 National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) members stormed Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday and escorted CEO Edward Manyokole from the building, GroundUp reported.

The protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with Manyokole's management of the hospital, as well as with the hospital's human resources (HR) manager Sifiso Cele.

Nehawu members entered though the hospital's gates with placards. They went straight to Manyokole's office, demanding that he leave immediately. A pot plant in the passage was used to break the glass door of his office. They went to Cele's office and when the group discovered Cele was not there, they spray painted "CEO must go" and "hamba inja" ("the dog must leave") on the walls.

READ | Community health workers show heart on the ground

The protesters then escorted Manyokole outside the gates, carrying his bags to his car.

Mazwi Ngubane, Nehawu secretary in the Harry Gwala region, said Manyokole and Cele had ignored requests to meet with the union to discuss issues at Northdale.

WATCH | Prioritise PPE over shareholder payouts, #Care4Carers tells private healthcare sector

Ngubane said conditions at the hospital were "worse than before" and staff were unhappy.

"Their lives are put at risk. We have an issue of Covid-19 dead bodies being kept in the hospital longer than they should be. The issue of personal protective equipment (PPE) is also a problem. The department said it has run out of funds. It is surprising how the department has no budget while workers are at risk," he said.

He said the workers were relying on PPE from a field hospital at the Royal Showgrounds which was constructed to assist with the influx of Covid-19 patients during the peak. The facility has since been closed.

READ HERE | Relaxing safeguards 'was a leadership decision' - Ramaphosa's mea culpa on Covid-19 corruption

"We trusted the CEO to make a difference after the suspension of the former CEO. The employees were patient with him, hoping he would change. He had shown arrogance. We want both of them out of this hospital. They must go," Ngubane said.

An employee who asked not to be named said they had to buy their own PPE and sanitiser for work. "Fortunately, we have a warehouse nearby where we buy our protective gear. It's a mess. We work because there is nothing we can do."

On his way out, Manyokole told GroundUp the workers were accusing him of things he was not aware of.

READ | Covid-19 corruption: Mboweni confirms Treasury note that allowed loophole for looting is withdrawn

"They say I'm arrogant. All they want to do is to dictate and I cannot allow that," Manyokole said.

Head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Dr Sandile Tshabalala condemned the actions of the protesters.

"A high-level team of officials from head office has been deployed to investigate the incident," Tshabalala said.


Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 417 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 720 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1908 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.20
(-0.25)
ZAR/GBP
20.40
(-0.01)
ZAR/EUR
18.42
(-0.06)
ZAR/AUD
11.29
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.06)
Gold
1835.48
(-0.24)
Silver
24.14
(+0.55)
Platinum
1061.00
(+3.78)
Brent Crude
48.78
(+0.95)
Palladium
2336.01
(+1.71)
All Share
59419.37
(+0.80)
Top 40
54500.04
(+0.61)
Financial 15
11646.83
(+2.17)
Industrial 25
79758.36
(+0.10)
Resource 10
57015.33
(+0.70)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo