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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Mpumalanga health probing manhandling of doctor by Nehawu members

The doctor was doing outreach work at the Buffelshoek Clinic in Bushbuckridge when she was accosted.

The Mpumalanga Health Department said it has seen the video of a female doctor that was manhandled by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).

The doctor was doing outreach work to primary healthcare facilities at the Buffelshoek Clinic in Bushbuckridge last week, when she was accosted by Nehawu members.

The video shows striking workers demanding she delete a video despite her telling them they don’t have permission to be there. However, it is unclear which video the strikers were referring to.

Watch the video the doctor being manhandled

Doctor manhandled

At one point, the video showed workers grabbing her legs while she holds on to her desk.

The workers later succeed in removing her from the office.

Department spokesperson Chris Nobela confirmed the incident.

“We saw the video and are busy with an investigation to get to the bottom of what has transpired.”

Nobela said the strike is apparent at all the health facilities in the province.

“Some people have been intimidated, but some others are allowed to [enter the health facility].”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Striking Nehawu workers meet their match in Westbury

Strike to intensify

Nehawu has vowed to intensify its public service strike until their demands are met by government after union’s leadership held a media briefing on Sunday, on the collapsed wage negotiations.

Public servants affiliated with the union have been staging countrywide protests since last Monday, over a wage dispute with government.

The union is demanding a 10% wage increase, while government is offering 4.7%.

Meanwhile, the Health Department said operations at healthcare facilities are still affected by the low turnout of employees.

Deaths from strike

Minister Joe Phaahla last week Friday, linked the deaths of at least four patients to the strike saying they were denied access to some emergency facilities.

“Most hospitals are currently depending on the volunteers from the concerned NGOs and local community members, working hand in hand with senior officials from district, provincial and national health offices for cleaning and general admin support.”

Minister Phaahla has noted a declaration by Nehawu on Sunday, to intensify the strike action, with disappointment.

SANDF deployed

On Monday, the South African National Defences Force (SANDF) were stationed at the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus, while Minister of Health Joe Phaahla visited the facility.

The disruptions have taken a toll on South Africans who cannot access health services as protesters block patients, doctors and healthcare workers from entering the facilities.

Last week, residents of Westbury and surrounds chased away the striking workers from one of the entrances of the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Johannesburg, saying they were messing up the place while barricading the road with rocks and burning tyres.

ALSO READ: Nehawu vows to intensify public sector strike

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