Mpumalanga’s Themba Hospital on Lockdown After Business Forum Attacked Healthcare Workers

Mpumalanga’s Themba Hospital on Lockdown After Business Forum Attacked Healthcare Workers

  • Police officers were stationed at the gates of Themba Hospital in Mpumalanga following attacks on some of its staff
  • A local business forum, which was demanding tenders from the hospital, assaulted numerous healthcare workers on different occasions
  • Nehawu requested provincial leadership to step in and institute stricter access control, among other things

Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced Briefly News journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, who has covered protests and current affairs on radio for over 15 years. Do you have a political story you would like to share? Email with CA in the subject line.

Mpumalanga police guard the Themba Hospital after attacks on staff
A Mpumalanga business forum, demanding tenders from Themba Hospital, attacked healthcare workers at the facility. Image: Getty Images/Stock Image and Facebook/Themba-Hospital-Kabokweni
Source: UGC

A heavy police presence was visible at the entrance of Themba Hospital near Mbombela on 8 April 2024 after numerous healthcare workers were assaulted a week before.

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Business forum members assault healthcare workers

According to Mpumalanga News, a protest by a local business forum turned violent on 4 April 2024, resulting in the hospital shutting its gates.

The forum reportedly tried to coerce the hospital's management into awarding its members tenders. The group reportedly attacked hospital staff on three different occasions over the past few weeks.

An employee at the hospital told City Press that the men would also target those who attempted to record the intimidation.

“They also assaulted three doctors, one of them a senior doctor, and slapped them repeatedly.”

Nehawu steps in

Workers' union Nehawu and the province's leadership were among those who held a meeting on 8 April 2024 to attempt to resolve the issue.

The union's Mpumalanga Secretary Welcome Mnisi pressed that the hospital enforced stricter controls at access points.

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“These villains put workers’ lives in danger and it will not be tolerated.”

Netizens share their views on the protest

Many South Africans were appalled by the business forum's acts.

Moipone suggested:

“Tender system need to be abolished.”

Cys commented:

“Ramaphosa and Bheki Cele are fully aware but turning a blind eye.”

semi-retired shouted:

“This is BBBEE in action!”

Imraan Turpin asked:

“What are the security doing while all this is happening?”

Bantukizzy added:

“Criminals are fearless in Mzansi.”

DA to lay charges against striking Nehawu workers

Briefly News reported that the DA in KwaZulu-Natal wanted to press charges against Nehawu following the death of a pregnant woman.

Thandokuhulhe Mlotshwa passed away at Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg after striking workers allegedly denied her entry to Grey's Hospital for several hours.

Mlotshwa sustained a severe head injury in a hit-and-run while on her way for a routine check-up.

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Source: Briefly News

Zingisa Chirwa avatar

Zingisa Chirwa (Editor) Zingisa Chirwa is an experienced broadcast journalist who has worked predominantly in radio newsrooms for over 15 years. Chirwa has occupied numerous positions, including news journalist, editor and current affairs host, focusing mainly on Mpumalanga politics and business. You can reach Zingisa at

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