A man has been admitted in hospital after suffering a rubber bullet wound in the butt. He was shot by the police in the midst of their running battles with striking social workers.
The man was taking part in the ongoing national social worker’s strike that has since turned violent‚ according to Gauteng Department of Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza.
The MEC has threatened to initiate legal and criminal proceedings against the culprits.
She said non-striking employees were being attacked.
She said “scores have been injured since Wednesday with one admitted in the intensive care”.
State vehicles were also set alight and faeces thrown at offices‚ she said. Urging the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union to intervene to prevent the violence‚ the MEC did not mince her words in a letter to Nehawu’s provincial secretary‚ Tshepo Mokheranyana.
‘That’s what you get for participating in a violent strike, the police where only doing their job.
It’s not surprising that he might have been making poo to throw at non-striking employees’ she said commenting on the man injured on his bum.
“The department will further explore any other measures within the law to protect the lives of the staff and the vulnerable beneficiaries.
It should be noted further that this conduct of the Nehawu strikers does not fall within the ambit of a protected strike‚” she said.
Mayathula-Khoza said non-striking staff members were also sprayed with teargas inside buildings and that staff members had been forcefully removed from the workplace and denied access to essential service centres such Chid and Youth Care Centres and Service points.
“Desperation is creeping in and criminality also comes along it. This is unacceptable. I think the union leadership must urgently intervene to deal with criminal tendencies that are now taking over the strike.”
The Nehawu strike by social development employees is in demand for more favourable working conditions and an increase in salaries.