Nehawu wants answers over the shooting of NW health workers during a protest

Nehawu said police opened fire on some of its members during a protest at the Witrand Hospital earlier this month.

FILE: The union is calling for an immediate investigation into who called the police to the scene and who instructed them to shoot at the crowd. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health workers Union Nehawu is demanding answers from the North West police commissioner on Monday.

It said police opened fire on some of its members during a protest at the Witrand Hospital earlier this month.

The union is calling for an immediate investigation into who called the police to the scene and who instructed them to shoot at the crowd.

Nehawu in the Tlokwe region said it was dismayed and appalled by the incident. It has described the ordeal as a shameless attack and is demanding that Commissioner Sello Kwena responds to their letter by Wednesday this week.

On 7 April, workers at the Witrand Psychiatric Hospital downed tools and staged a protest outside the facility. They claim that they’ve not been paid performance bonuses while hospital management was given bonuses.

The union said police soon arrived and fired rubber bullets at the workers.

North West police spokesperson Amanda Funani confirmed to Eyewitness News that police did fire rubber bullets at the protesters to disperse them. She said Ipid was now investigating the matter.

But regional Nehawu organiser Rantekane Kgoadi said they were planning to take the matter to Police Minister Bheki Cele, adding that the North West police’s response to their member's protest was reckless.

"We gave him an ultimatum that he must get back to us with a comprehensive report in terms of what really transpired, why were our members shot at by the police?"