SAHRC announces inquiry into Charlotte Maxeke Hospital protest

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Vandalism at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Supplied)
Vandalism at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. (Supplied)

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will convene an inquiry next week into the recent demonstrations and protests at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

The commission's provincial manager Buang Jones made the announcement during a media briefing on Thursday at the hospital, following a walkabout of the radiation oncology ward.

He said the inquiry would look into the impact the protests had on patients, and also find out whether the damage caused was "reasonably foreseeable and preventable".

ALSO READ: SAHRC inspects Charlotte Maxeke's Radiation Oncology ward

"We also want to look into the role that was played by the unions that took part in the protest," Jones added.

The SAHRC visited the hospital for a site inspection, following several reports alleging there is a shortage of radiation oncologists in the hospital's oncology ward.

The commission said it was also alleged there was a breakdown of vital cancer treatment machines and delays in the provision of healthcare services to approximately 500 cancer patients who are waiting for radiation treatment.

ALSO READ: Charlotte Maxeke Hospital protest is 'hooliganism' – Motsoaledi

About a week ago, hospital equipment was damaged and operations were disrupted after staff protested, claiming they hadn't been paid bonuses owed to them for the 2016-17 financial year.

The commission, in a statement issued last month, called for a national dialogue to be held to discuss "the growing trend of workers using patients as means to air their complaints and a way of trying to find quick solutions".

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