Maverick Citizen

DEATH STRIKE DAY 1-4

In photos – the chaos sweeping South Africa, and the patients bearing the brunt

In photos – the chaos sweeping South Africa, and the patients bearing the brunt
Nehawu members protest outside George Tabor Technical College in Soweto on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

On Monday morning, the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers Union brought health service in several hospitals and clinics countrywide to a standstill. Despite numerous interdicts, the strike has contributed throughout the week, with widespread reports of death and suffering. Maverick Citizen has been contacted by doctors, nurses, health workers and patients across the country about their experiences. Below are some of the images that capture the devastating impacts of the strike.

After the trade union members began their indefinite strike at health facilities on Monday, 6 March, surgeries were cancelled, ambulances were unable to respond to emergency calls, health workers were forced to remain on shift and look after critical patients and relief workers were not allowed in. 

Read more in Daily Maverick:Wage strike hammers health services across the country

A young doctor was among the medical staff who barricaded themselves in a theatre at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, in an attempt to continue life-saving surgery while protesters tried to force them out on day two of the strike. 

Read more in Daily Maverick:‘It all started unexpectedly a few minutes before midnight’ — a doctor’s night of hell at Bloemfontein’s Pelonomi Hospital


Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations


Despite the Eastern Cape health MEC obtaining an interdict against the strikers, the devastation continued, with psychiatric patients banging on windows and screaming for help as pregnant women tried to help one another on the third day of a strike. 

Read more in Daily Maverick:Eastern Cape Health MEC obtains interdict against strikers as devastation continues at hospitals

On day four, patients across South Africa struggled to access hospitals, surgeries and dispensaries. Appointments were cancelled and staff were intimidated. The operations at blood banks across several provinces were also affected. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick:Massive hospital disruptions across SA as health workers continue strike

Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein. (Photo: Supplied)

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Christel Vermaak (45), with an open stomach wound due to complications from an earlier hernia operation, in Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein. She and several other women in the room with her had just been told they were being discharged due to a severe staff shortage. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

A heavily pregnant Kgothatso Mary Mokhele (39) with her son Rethabile (17) at Pelonomi Hospital. She was due for a check-up today but was told she couldn’t be helped because of a severe staff shortage. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

A lone doctor walks through the deserted paediatric wing of Pelonomi Hospital. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

Nehawu members protest outside Bheki Mhlangeni Hospital in Soweto on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

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Patients wait in a long queue at a dispensary at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Bheki Simelane)

At Stretford Community Health Centre in Orange Farm, Johannesburg, patients are locked out. (Photo: Supplied)

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Wheelchair-bound patients wait for medicine at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Bheki Simelane)

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Nehawu members protest at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Luba Lesolle)

Patients had to walk far because the road was closed at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Gallo Images / Fani Mahuntsi)

A patient making his wag through the empty corridors of Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

The neonatal unit at Pelonomi Hospital is chained from the inside to keep health workers and babies safe inside on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

Empty admissions offices at Pelonomi Hospital on 8 March 2023. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

Tyres smoulder during the Nehawu protest at Livingstone Hospital in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape. (Photo: Deon Ferreira)

A police officer gets ready to throw a smoke grenade at Nehawu protesters who are blocking the road running past Livingstone Hospital in Gqeberha. (Photo: Deon Ferreira)

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Abrie Montshi (42) was admitted to Pelonomi Hospital with a broken arm. On Tuesday, it had still not been treated or put in a cast. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

A man, alone in a ward, watches Nehawu members singing outside the entrance to Pelonomi Hospital. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

Police guard one of the entrances to Pelonomi Hospital. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

An abandoned ward at Pelonomi Hospital. (Photo: Magdel Louw)

Dirty linen in the passages at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp on 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

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A few nurses attend to patients at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp on 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

A patient in a hallway at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp on 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Dirty linen in a passage at Tshepong Hospital on 7 March 2023. (Photo:Felix Dlangamandla)

Nurses attend to patients at Tshepong Hospital on 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

nehawu tshepong

A patient at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp on 7 March 2023. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp on 7 March 2023. (Photo:Felix Dlangamandla)

Masibeko Mangiso’s relative helps him outside Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in Mthatha. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

Nurses sit outside Leratong Hospital during the strike. (Photo: Leon Sadiki)

Angry Monwabisi Mesilaniand his wife Nombulelo Qhinga outside Nelson Mandela Hospital after being told to go home due to the strike. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Like most political parties couldn’t give a shit about the citizens of this country, the unions couldn’t care less about their members. They are playing dirty political games.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

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