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Durban - It is a very sad day in SA history, read a placard placed outside McCord Hospital on Friday.
The institute, founded 104 years ago by a missionary surgeon to provide medical care to the Zulu people of Durban and located in upmarket Berea, closed its doors.
However, for staff and the National Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) the campaign against the closure has not ended.
On Monday, the union will be seeking an interdict against the closure of the hospital in the hope of getting more clarity about the employment status of staff.
Provincial secretary Zola Sepetha said the union was puzzled by the board having indicated to staff that they still had their jobs until further notice.
“In court, we want to understand the meaning of further notice. They confirmed that workers are not yet retrenched.”
Speaking after a morning meeting to which interested parties were invited, medical manager Jay Mannie stood his ground, saying the hospital should not close.
“We have a petition signed by more than 300 people, calling for the resignation of the board and a vote of no confidence,” he said.
The decision by the board followed a breakdown in talks over the KwaZulu-Natal health department taking over the hospital.
The board said on Friday that the health department’s offer was far too low. It had agreed to discount the valuation of the property by more than 40 percent.
Despite the closure, the staff would remain employed until their retrenchment was finalised.
Provincial health spokesman Sam Mkhwanazi said on Thursday the department would comment on the hospital’s closure in due course.
Independent on Saturday