Workers face disciplinary action, three years after trashing Gauteng hospital
According to the Gauteng Health Department, 45 employees were identified through video footage, who vandalised the hospital during an illegal strike, and 40 were found guilty by the presiding officer. They were given two months suspension without pay and a final written warning.
The disciplinary proceedings of the remaining five employees is still ongoing, and the hospital anticipates completing this by end of May.
Former Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said, at the time that, what happened was “pure hooliganism” and that anyone who tried to stop staff doing their duties was a “murderer”. He said he would be consulting with the police minister to arrest those responsible.
The then Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa was even more dramatic saying: “This is another Life Esidimeni unfolding."
It was estimated that there was R3 million in damages.
DA Gauteng shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom welcomed the disciplinary action, saying that "it was a pity that this took so long to resolve."
"It is disappointing that it has taken three years to discipline workers, who dumped trash and medical waste around the hospital, and caused the cancellation of operations as well," he said.
He said he would be following up on the criminal cases that were opened at the Hillbrow Police Station, for public disturbance/violence and malicious damage to property.
"It is important that there are real consequences for those who disrupt a place of healing, so that it does not happen again," he said.
The staffers went on a rampage, throwing trash – which included medical waste – around the hospital.
They also marched through wards and intimidated staff, and disrupted activities. According to reports, operations were cancelled at the hospital due to a lack of clean linen.
Staff were protesting over non-payment of overtime and performance bonuses. They further claimed that management had not been communicating with them.