Have we descended below worst kind of barbarism?
Aug 19, 2010, Sowetan
Flipside of Life, with Charles Mogale
LET'S get serious, for once. Last week South Africans saw the very worst possible savage barbarism visited on a couple of young women on the East Rand.
Long story short: the women took up jobs vacated by people who had been fired for going on an illegal strike at the OR Tambo International Airport.
They were apparently ambushed and caught by a bunch of yahoos on a train, stripped starkers and their clothes thrown out of the window.
Someone with a phone camera snapped away and the pictures ended up on the front page of a tabloid.
Now savagery does not go beyond that. The pity of it all is that if our past record is anything to go by, the perpetrators will never be arrested, let alone have their day in court and be convicted.
Anywhere in the civilised world, there would be a national outcry. But we are inured to barbarism, it seems.
Why the heck are our alleged leaders and the trade union movement not outraged, I can never tell.
What I can tell is, if this is "comradeship", I am no comrade and I want nothing to do with it.
But then we are a nation that invented the "necklace", a Stone Age act through which alleged collaborators with apartheid had a car tyre thrown around their necks, doused with petrol and then set alight.
As they kicked and gasped their last breath, young "comrades" chanted freedom songs next to the gory spectacle.
I personally know of no instance where the "guilt" of a necklace victim was proved before they were killed.
In my area, the Vaal, the buried remains of "sell-outs" were exhumed because "comrades" did not want them in our local cemeteries.
There is the well-known horrific story of a "sellout" who was decapitated, and his head stuck on a post atop his house chimney. Our people cheered with euphoria at this grotesque display of "bravery".
When a councillor was attacked in Sharpeville and his house and car set alight, he tried to escape but was caught and shoved under the inferno of his burning vehicle.
The perpetrators of the heinous deed became local heroes.
The police have not told us if there has been any progress in investigating who stripped the women naked on the train.
For ‘Disobeying’, Women Paraded Naked
Racism, Guilt and Self-Deceipt
I had a conversation (September 1989) with a black woman who was supposed to work for me on a Wednesday and only showed up two days later. Wednesday, she says – a (white) election day – was a ‘stayaway’: if the ‘comrades’ saw you coming from town you would be beaten. Was it true that women were made to walk naked down the street? Yes, she said; they could also cut off your ear, and say ‘Give this to your mas¬ter; you don’t listen to me!’.
These people, she said, wanted freedom in town (‘white’ Johannesburg), but in the townships they beat any¬one who ‘disobeyed’. In other words, they want to be treated (by whites) as whites treat each other – under the rule of law – but quickly forget about these ‘freedoms’ where they hold sway.
So why is everyone saying blacks want black rule? Well, she said, they would like to ‘share’ it. But once these thugs get a taste of power they will want it all. She laughed; ‘of course’. Then why does everyone keep saying that blacks want a black government? It was the same fear, she said, that makes them afraid to violate the stay¬away.
I asked if she’d ever had such a conversation with any white man before. She laughed again. ‘No, no.’ Nor would she have it with blacks. The media reports millions of blacks protesting (white) elec-tions because they couldn’t vote, when the reality – as the media must know – is that they are simply terrorized.
» » » » [Excerpts: Sowetan & Racism, Guilt and Self Deceipt]
Strikers: it's war!
Staff Reporters, IOL
August 21 2010 at 07:31AM
Yuri Bezmenov, a.k.a. Tomas Schuman, soviet KGB defector, explains in detail the KGB process of subversion in a 1985 interview with Edward Griffin: 'Ideological subversion...is a slow process...to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country. It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages: 1. Demoralization, 2. Destabalization, 3. Crisis, 4. Normalization'
The battle lines have been drawn in what has become South Africa's worst industrial action.
On Friday, the government vowed to reintroduce the instant 24-hour justice of the World Cup courts in a last-ditch bid to bring brutal strikers to book, as the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) warned terminally ill patients in Cape Town hospitals that they would "have to negotiate with their lives" for essential life support systems to be continued.
As the strike entered its fourth day today, unions declared the government's decision, announced by State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele in Pretoria on Friday, as a declaration of war.
Cwele was unabashed.
"The criminal justice system is being put on high alert with special courts to deal with acts of hooliganism. Interdicts will be served on unions to prevent them from accessing key government departments and infrastructure," said Cwele.
He said the government would not allow the country to degenerate into a state of anarchy.
The protection of non-striking staff and innocent civilians would be paramount, he said.
On Thursday, 51 hospital workers appeared in a KwaZulu-Natal court charged with public violence.
Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel and Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi were yesterday preparing a list of government departments and institutions that would be no-go zones for protesters, as part of their interdict.
"We want to protect key institutions (such as) schools and hospitals," said Cwele.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he was shocked at the strikers' willingness to "murder" in order to improve their wages.
"No matter how angry I was, I would never put somebody's life at risk... If health workers lose that, believe me we no longer have a country," he said.
Deputy Minister of Basic Education Enver Surty said matric prelim exams, due to start in a fortnight, could be affected.
Nehawu's Fikile Majola was unrepentant.
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 1/7, lecture in Los Angeles in 1983
"We expected a government interdict. They did it in 2007, so it's not new. We will go to court and defend ourselves. I don't know why they compare this to apartheid. The truth is there was no national protected strike before 1994. To make a comparison is naive and ignorant."
But for Andrew Tsotetsi, a patient at the hard-hit Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, all he could do was plead.
He was admitted last month with severe burns to his right leg. As his suppurating wounds dripped to the ground, he told the Saturday Star: "I am scared that I am going to die here. The bed where I sleep is wet. The smell coming out of the ward is terrible, and while the soldiers have been here helping, it is not enough.
"We are dying of pain in our beds and we plead with our government to put our lives first and ensure the nurses return to work."
Outside Natalspruit Hospital, nurses picketing at the gate were unconcerned.
"Why should we care when someone dies, because we are not at work while the government doesn't care about our lives," said one nurse, who refused to give her name.
"We are coming here every day to stand vigil and see bodies being removed from the hospital.
"This is what the government wants. If they didn't, then we would not have been here in the first place. Patients' lives have been put at risk by our government."
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 2/7
But not everyone is standing by. Richard Friedland, the chief executive of hospital group Netcare, said his staff were now treating more than 80 babies, some premature and critically ill, who had been abandoned by striking nurses at various provincial hospitals across Gauteng.
"It's a sanctity of life issue," said Friedland of the babies, who were found "pretty close to death" but were now being treated at the Park Lane and Garden City hospitals.
"Notwithstanding people's right to strike and their legitimate demands, these babies have the right to life, and we'll ensure that. We had to resuscitate many of them."
Netcare was also helping to ameliorate the healthcare crisis resulting from the strike.
"We've admitted five ladies who needed to give birth urgently, as well as five adults who were critically ill, from Helen Joseph, into our ICU, and one person who sustained a gunshot wound.
"There have been a number of cases across Gauteng, and we're now getting ready for the Free State and gearing up for potential action there," Friedland said.
Yesterday, civil rights initiative AfriForum successfully interdicted the SA Democratic Teachers Union, the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysers Unie, the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa and Nehawu from intimidating pupils and non-striking teachers.
AfriForum's head of community safety, Nantes Kelder, told a court that they had received numerous complaints from concerned parents regarding the public service strike.
And labour expert Tony Healy said the lawlessness witnessed during the current strike action was the worst he had ever seen.
"The violence and protests that we have seen are unprecedented - and it is only going to get worse if the government does not give them what they want. I am anticipating a protracted strike which could go on a for a while," Healy said.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August 21, 2010
» » » » [IOL]
Strikers jump over kid having epileptic fits
Aug 20, 2010 1:36 PM
By Staff Reporter and Sapa, Sun Times
Twelve year-old Nikeziwe Mathebula had a epileptic fit outside Coronation Hospital west of Johannesburg after protestors prevented her from entering the hospital for her treatment. Her mother watched in horror as striking workers toy-toyed past her and others even jumping over her.
Another pregnant woman's water broke while sitting on the pavement after she was also prevented from going into the hospital. Some journalists had to plead with private medics to take her to the Garden City clinic. They initially said they couldn't help her because she didn't have medical aid cover.
Meanwhile, volunteers and soldiers were helping out at Natalspruit, Helen Joseph and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals on Friday as a public service strike entered its third day, a Gauteng health official said.
Provincial spokesman Mandla Sidu said it had not been necessary for authorities to move any more babies from state hospitals to private hospitals.Some 53 premature babies were moved from Natalspruit hospital earlier this week.
Two babies died at the hospital. Sidu said their deaths could not necessarily be linked to the strike, but did say that the babies had not been fed properly.
“The babies were not fed for a long time,” said Sidu.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was expected to meet staff at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on Friday to discuss the effect of the public workers’ strike.
“The meeting will be held to gather information on strike specifics and get comment from the minister,” said hospital spokesman Nkosiyethu Mazibuko by phone from inside the Soweto hospital.
He said the hospital protests had been “calm” on Friday, following the firing of rubber bullets by police on Thursday, but more details of the impact would be available after the meeting.
Motsoaledi was also expected to address the protesters after the meeting.
Striking protesters had gathered outside both locked hospital gates from 8am singing, dancing and blowing vuvuzelas.
The kitchen was running on a skeleton staff with only eight of around 40 staff members working with the help of a few volunteers.
DA member of the provincial legislature Jack Bloom was among them.
Dressed in a hairnet and blue apron, he had gone into a ward and was told about 1400 patients were too ill to be discharged, but plans were being made to move other patients to other hospitals to alleviate the load.
It was not immediately clear if this was to private hospitals, in terms of an agreement between private institutions and the government in emergency situations.
“I am a bad cook,” joked Bloom as he dished out portions of rice from a vast pot.
One heavily pregnant woman who did not want to be named said she had been helped at the hospital.
Babies had all been moved to a single ward as there were not enough staff to attend to them.
On Thursday, according to security guard Solomon Matsheke from Mabotwane Security, two men took advantage of the situation and were found in the old casualty ward stealing copper cable from a covered box on the wall.
He said one was a government security guard from the hospital and another was a friend from outside the hospital.
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 3/7
He had hidden the cables inside the hospital and someone else had come to collect them.
A friend of the guard tipped police off and the two were arrested.
The theft did not have an impact as the ward was closed.
Inside the hospital grounds, soldiers could be seen standing on an army truck, rifles at hand, as they and police monitored the protesters. This was in terms of a request by the health ministry to the SA National Defence Force.
Earlier, at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Hurst Hill, Johannesburg, police sprayed water cannons at protesters who had started a fire at a side entrance of hospital.
Police had tried to remove them and clear the rubbish, but they threw rubbish bins at the entrance and tried to set the rubbish alight again.
Police responded by soaking them with jets of water which also doused the flames and there were no further incidents by noon.
» » » » [Sun Times]
Doctors brave sjamboks, barbed wire
August 20 2010 at 11:06AM
By Omphitlhetse Mooki and Botho Molosankwe, IOL
Burning tyres, barricaded gates and doctors crawling underneath barbed wire fences - that's how day three of the public sector strike unfolded at the Helen Joseph hospital on Friday morning.
Dr Maggie Tarczynska was among staff members who had to crawl underneath a fence to make her way into the hospital on Friday morning as protesting nurses blockaded the main entrance and threatened staff reporting for work with sjamboks and sticks.
"I have to do my work, someone has to attend to patients," she said as she kneeled down to crawl underneath the fence.
Inside the hospital, patients sat around in clumps around the pharmacy area waiting for their chronic medication while X-ray patients were turned away.
"Sorry we can't help you, there's no one at X-ray... There's nothing we can do," a tearful Mapula Radebe was told by one of the doctors.
Meanwhile, the cold weather did not deter Natalspruit Hospital staff who sang with fervour at the gate. There were two inyalas and several metro police cars watching over the protestors, some of whom wore blankets to ward off the cold.
Some sections of the hospital such as the dispensary were functioning, however, there was no one to help search for the files. MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu arrived at the hospital in the morning and her spokesman Mandla Sidu said she was there to help clean the hospital.
» » » » [IOL]
'Babies were flat, cold and close to death'
August 21 2010 at 12:58PM
By Thabiso Thakali and Sheree Bega, IOL
Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has admitted that her department did not know how many nurses would abandon their posts and strike this week.
But Mahlangu, who was exhausted after several days at the hospital worst hit by the strike, Natalspruit, changing sheets, transporting patients and removing medical waste, insisted her department had contingency plans.
"I wouldn't say we were caught off guard," she said on Friday. "We weren't sure of the number of participants in the strike, but I think we acted swiftly in mobilising the army and the public to help."
But the crisis at Natalspruit, particularly in its neonatal ward, left hardened emergency staff traumatised this week at the sight of tiny babies being abandoned and left to die.
"I can't describe the level of emotion we feel about this," said Richard Friedland, the chief executive of Netcare. "Some of our hardened trauma doctors were gasping in disbelief and in tears. These babies were flat and cold and close to death. We could've lost them."
Mahlangu had called on the private hospital group to intervene on Wednesday night, when almost 60 babies, many premature and critically ill, were found lying in soiled nappies and linen. They'd gone without desperately needed feeds for at least a day.
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 4/7
Netcare staff loaded the babies onto a disaster-relief bus and transported them to various Netcare hospitals. Other sick babies were rescued from Sebokeng and Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospitals.
"The mothers are desperate - that was the tragedy. We found mothers who refused to sleep, clinging on and traumatised," Friedland added.
At Natalspruit, night staff were unable to enter the wards because of protesters, he said.
"The babies are desperately ill, but the good news is that we've been able to discharge two. It's just remarkable how resilient they are. Give them some food, love and care and they respond immediately.
"We're not charging anyone for this. If you'd asked us before if we could look after 80 babies in a night, I think many of us would've said 'no way', but we managed to rise to the challenge. We had people who had already done 12 hours of duty come in without complaint.
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 5/7
"Many doctors cancelled their private patients and said we've got an obligation to these helpless, dying babies. Mothers are relieved, babies well hydrated. Obviously there are very sick babies who might not make it irrespective of the strike," he said, pointing to three babies who had died.
"It's been heart-wrenching. Once you take the responsibility of looking after these babies, it can be for six months. We're not prepared to even consider the notion of stopping looking after the babies.
"People stood up and did the right thing. If people were disempowered by the brutality of this and did nothing, that would be one thing, but ordinary people stood up notwithstanding people's right to strike, and said these babies have the right to life."
Mahlangu said the casualty wards of provincial hospitals that had been closed would be reopened for the weekend.
She said some nurses she had spoken to wanted to return to work and save lives, but feared for their safety.
Netcare has set up a bank account for the babies: Account name: Netcare Garden City Baby Trust, Nedbank Sandown, account No 1933-226-749, branch code 193305. People can donate baby clothes, nappies, formula or dummies to any Netcare hospital.
This article was originally published on page 4 of The Star on August 21, 2010
» » » » [IOL]
'Go and dump her in Zuma's office'
August 21 2010 at 10:56AM
By Sheree Bega, IOL
"Go and dump her in Zuma's office." That's how maternity nurses at the Alexandra Clinic reportedly responded to the desperate pleas of a Joburg ambulance driver to admit his ill, heavily pregnant patient who was in labour. They turned him away.
The driver spent more than three hours on Friday racing to various hospitals and imploring them to admit the Diepsloot woman, who presented with a complicated breach birth, but all refused.
He was turned away from Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, Hillbrow Clinic and Alexandra Clinic. The driver eventually found relief at Tembisa Hospital at around 11am, but only after he had convinced them of the woman's serious condition.
"They took her because we were already there and she was not in a lekker condition at all. I basically forced them to take her," the driver said, on condition of anonymity.
"We'd been travelling all around for three hours. The Alex nurses were very rude and didn't want to help. One nurse told us we must dump the patient in Zuma's office.
"It really made me cross. This lady had her first baby through a caesarean, and she was meant to have a caesarean again.
"We had her inside the ambulance screaming and kicking and they (the hospitals) didn't care. I didn't know where to go - I was so frustrated."
The driver said another newborn had been delivered inside an ambulance.
He said there was a massive backlog of emergency calls because ambulances were spending hours trying to get patients admitted.
The Saturday Star was unable to determine the status of the patient last night.
This article was originally published on page 5 of The Star on August 21, 2010
» » » » [IOL]
Hospitals turn away man with chopped off hand
Aug 20, 2010 8:01 AM
By Sapa, Sunday Times
A 21-year-old man, who needed emergency surgery after his hand had been chopped off, was turned away by two state hospitals due to a public service strike, says paramedics.
"In a case such as this, time is of the essence as the tissue can die," said ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak.
"Paramedics found a man in Vereeniging with his hand chopped off; the hand was placed on ice and the patient had to be transported to a hospital for emergency surgery to reattach the hand."
The man was turned away by both Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals, where striking health workers severely disrupted services.
"ER24 paramedics had to airlift a man from Vereeniging to Steve Biko hospital in Pretoria when two major specialist hospitals were closed in Johannesburg," said Vermaak.
He said ER24 had since not been able to get through to Steve Biko hospital for an update on the man's condition.
Police spokesman Warrant-Officer Aubrey Moopeloa said the man's friend chopped his hand off with a panga in Sharpeville during an argument over a girlfriend.
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 6/7
Vermaak said the strike was placing the so-called "golden hour" under threat.
"In the past few years, paramedics are trying to stress the importance of the Golden Hour where a patient needs to be seen by a specialist within 60 minutes from his or her injury."
He said ER24 had been turned away from Charlotte Maxeke, Chris Hani Baragwanath, Helen Joseph, Tambo Memorial and Ernest Oppenheimer hospitals.
"Since the strikes and riots broke out at various hospitals across the country, paramedics are struggling to enter hospital grounds to hand patients over.
"In certain areas ambulances were allowed in, but could not hand the patient over as there were limited staff and the patient had to be transferred to another facility," said Vermaak.
» » » » [Sunday Times]
Union says dying patients must negotiate with strikers
Aug 20, 2010 10:24 AM
By Sapa, Sunday Times
The SA Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) expressed "horror" over incidences of violence and intimidation during the public service strike, while Nehawu says patients facing life and death situations must "negotiate" with strikers about crossing hospital picket lines.
“In particular we abhor the inhuman conduct of denying doctors and patients access to hospitals and teachers and pupils access to their schools,” the SACBC said in a statement.
“We are horrified that care is being denied to the weakest and most vulnerable.”
In a bizzare twist, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union said patients facing life and death situations must “negotiate” with strikers about crossing hospital picket lines.
The statement, by Nehawu in the Western Cape, comes after strikers in other provinces on Thursday prevented sick people from entering health facilities.
Nehawu Western Cape provincial secretary Suraya Jawoodeen claimed in a statement on Friday that the union had “totally shut down” Cape Town’s Groote Schuur, Tygerberg and GF Jooste hospitals.
She asked that members of the community stay away from these and other service delivery sites.
“Those who find themselves faced with a life and death situation must negotiate entry onto the premises with our marshalls [sic] on the picket lines,” she said.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by our action and want to invite the community to join us on the picket lines at Groote Schuur Hospital, GF Jooste and Tygerburg [sic].”
She claimed that strikers had also shut down the department of home affairs and department of labour public offices in the province, and several courts and other government offices.
The SACBC said it wanted to “plead” with the Public Service Commission to start wage talks earlier in the year to avoid disrupting matric pupils from preparing for their final exams.
» » » » [Sunday Times]
Strike chaos: Babies starve, patients die
Private clinics take the strain
Aug 19, 2010 10:01 PM
By Andile Ndlovu, Harriet McLea and Nivashni Nair, Sunday Times
Yuri Bezmenov ex KGB Psycological Warfare Techniques. Subversion & Control of Western Society 7/7
As 53 critically ill babies were left to starve by striking nurses, and as more than 10 adults died at an abandoned Gauteng hospital, private clinics and military medics yesterday came to the rescue of the country's crippled health system.
As the nationwide public servants' strike intensified, public hospitals around the country turned the sick away, discharged patients, and transferred the most critical to private hospitals.
Netcare paramedics worked throughout Wednesday night to transfer 53 premature babies from the Natalspruit Hospital, on Gauteng's East Rand, who had been left to starve for the entire day. Taken to Netcare's Park Lane and Garden City hospitals, the infants' nappies were so wet that their skin was peeling off.
The Times understands that, last night, another team of paramedics was assembled to transfer more critically ill newborns from Soweto's Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital to Roodepoort's private Flora Clinic.
A doctor at Chris Hani-Baragwanath, who asked not to be named, said that there were "no intensive care unit sisters" at the paediatric unit yesterday.
"We have a roster for doctors to do nurses' jobs, so we'll have to start feeding, cleaning bottoms and giving antibiotics.
He said babies who were not critical were discharged and their mothers told to bring them back on Wednesday.
"The problem is that you get new babies . a 900g child will be born tomorrow, and then what? It's a bit of a disaster here," the doctor said.
Yesterday afternoon, 14 people were injured in a taxi accident but Chris Hani-Baragwanath chief executive Johanna More said they would have to be sent to a private hospital if they needed intensive care.
Baragwanath hospital has already received 30 patients from nearby Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital's maternity unit, which had even fewer staff at work.
Gauteng health spokesman Mandla Sidu said hospital managers would decide which patients would be sent to private hospitals.
Two premature babies and more than 10 adults died at Natalspruit Hospital during the first two days of the strike.
The Times saw hearses collecting 10 adult bodies at the hospital. A relative of one patient, who had been caring for her cousin, said "about 16 people" had died since she arrived at the hospital, but this was not confirmed by officials.
A distraught Enock Khoba had to identify his friend at the mortuary.
Khoba's friend died in front of other patients, sitting helplessly surrounded by dirty cutlery, crockery and soiled linen in their filthy ward.
Patient Siphiwe Dlamini said: "The situation has only got worse, but at least today we saw a doctor in the morning and got breakfast."
Outside Johannesburg's Helen Joseph Hospital, police used a water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse striking workers who refused to allow access to ambulances and the sick.
The Times found several staff who had locked themselves in unit manager Nomsa Ntshalintshali's office.
Weeping patient Constance Langa said she had been on the same bed from Wednesday night and had yet to see a doctor.
Protestors ran past her chanting: "Thina senza nje uma sifuna imali" (This is what we will do when we want money).
A distraught-looking woman, whom one nurse identified as the hospital's chief executive, said: "I cannot talk to you. I'm having a very difficult time managing all these patients."
Soldiers were sent to Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital to protect the entrance from striking workers after they stormed in to wards to ensure that they were empty of staff.
SA Military Health Services spokesman Colonel Louis Kirsten said teams of military doctors, nurses and emergency specialists were deployed at Durban's King Edward Hospital and at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital.
Police were called in to disperse a mob of protestors who blockaded the entrance to the Edendale Hospital, in Pietermaritzburg, with burning tyres.
President Jacob Zuma said: "We respect the rights of workers to strike, but also people who do not want to strike and people who want to go to school must not be intimidated."
But Nehawu general secretary Fikile Majola said Zuma's intervention would "make the situation worse".
"We do not expect the president to enter negotiations," he said.
» » » » [Sunday Times]