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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Court rejects Nehawu’s application to appeal government strike interdict

The ruling comes as thousands of Nehawu members intensified their industrial action which has been marred by violence and intimidation.

The Labour Appeals Court has rejected the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) application to appeal government’s strike interdict.

The ruling was handed down on Monday, as thousands of Nehawu members intensified their industrial action which has been marred by violence and intimidation.


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%.

Nehawu on Sunday vowed to intensify its public service strike until the workers’ demands are met by government.

Court ruling

However, the court has ordered striking Nehawu employees to stop striking, picketing or any form of industrial action

“The strike action, picket, or any other form of industrial action by Nehawu, its members and employees, which commenced on 6 March 2023, is interdicted with immediate effect and Nehawu and all such employees are restrained and prevented from continuing with or participating in any such strike, picket or any other form of industrial action.

“Nehawu is ordered to inform its members and officials and all persons to whom it had given notice of the strike in every province, including but not limited to every hospital and clinic in South Africa at which it has members within the essential services,” the court ruled.

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

Ruling welcomed

Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said Minister Joe Phaahla has welcomed the court’s ruling.

“We believe this judgement will bring some form of stability in health facilities across the country. This is a victory for the innocent, vulnerable and un-unionised patients who have suffered the consequences of the disruptive and violent strike action.

“We also believe Nehawu will implement the judgement and inform its members to return to work as soon as possible,” Mohale said.

Nehawu reaction

Lwazi Nkolonzi, Nehawu national spokesperson, told The Citizen the union will be studying the judgement by the Appeal Court.

“Our national leadership will study the judgement and consult with our lawyers to decide on the way forward. We will communicate that decision,” Nkolonzi said.

SANDF deployed

Members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) manned entry points to the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Ekurhuleni when Health Minister Joe Phaahla visited to the facility on Monday morning.

The minister has since linked the deaths of at least four patients to the strike, and the department said operations at Thelle Mogoerane are still affected by the low turnout of employees.

ALSO READ: ‘Nehawu strike may not last long’ – Wage deal on the cards?

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