Hostage drama at Johan Heyns Clinic

‘‘You go nowhere until our demands are met,” employees at Johan Heyns Clinic told managers during a hostage drama.

VANDERBIJLPARK. – Two wrongs don’t make a right but employees of a non-government organisation (NGO) skipped their immediate payers and held three managers at Johan Heyns Community Health Clinic hostage to claim their promised increase.

This follows after the employees complained that they had not been paid for the past two months after being promised an increase of R1 000. On July 9 they took the hostages and demonstrated in a corridor near their workplace. The hostages, coordinator of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP), the deputy director and a senior Human Resources official, were forced to sit on the icy floor for hours.

They were told they would not be released until the protesters’ demands were met.

The situation nearly got out of hand when a nurse tried to give the hostages water. Her wig was torn off and she was severely rebuked by protesters. She had to run for her life to her office. Sarah Ramafola, deputy chairperson of the community health clinic, complained that they were not paid overtime. “When we approached the management of the clinic, we were referred back to our immediate NGO office, called The Fort.

“We have been driven by frustration to force the offices of the managers to a standstill. We have nothing to do with the outpatients,” said Ramafola.

The hostages were later released pending the outcome of negotiations between the protesters and the office of the director, who then took their grievances to the MEC for Health in Johannesburg.

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