(SACNS Africa; Social Justice South Africa)
Article by Marc Aupiais
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SACNS Quote Analysis:
A protest action over pay and benefits by public service unions, including unions consisting of educators at state institutions, as well of healthcare professionals, who are employed by the state, was the receiver of recent statements of disagreement from the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, the official Vatican endorsed Catholic bishops' conference for South Africa, and neighbouring nations. The SACBC media unit contacted our service, and other media earlier today via email, as is verified by our internal systems, so as to allow our service access to their opinions, which they inform us are also aired on their official website.
Cardinal Wilfred Fox Napier, of the Archdiocese of Durban who lists himself as the SACBC spokesperson, who our service verifies is a former head of the regional organization, has stated his view that some of those seemingly partaking in protest actions have prevented doctors, students and teachers from free access to healthcare and education facilities, in some instances, and has claimed that such reported actions contravene the public interest and human special interests, such as the general allowance, in South African law to primary, as well as secondary education, and healthcare. He stated that the Bishops Conference supported the allowance in South African law for protest action during wage disputes, but that some strikers had affected negatively the ability of other individuals residing in South Africa, to further their own interests, such as the achievement of primary, or secondary education, or the accessing of health services, and may have affected the interests of those who are less able to make a living, and those with fewer means at their disposal. Military medical units have been sent by the state to state healthcare facilities, according to a number of local media reports.
Cosatu (Congress of South African Trade Unions), a non-parliamentary member of the ruling (ANC) African National Congress's tripartite alliance, was part of general protest action, according to a "No Comment TV" video from independent European Union special interests service, EuroNews, which is connected to a number of European state broadcasters, and has an official contract with the European Union to air certain programs. Mine workers, have also been on strike according to text on video sharing site YouTube below the "No Comment TV" video by EuroNews.
South Africa has a history of violent and controversial protest action, those not partaking in some protest actions have in the past been reported in local press as having been intimidated to join protest action, or having been injured.
The recent protest action, has accompanied reported intimidation of other individuals by individuals partaking in the general protest action. Local media has claimed that some students in a less affluent area had allegedly assaulted a group of educators who were partaking in the protest action, via stoning. Stoning is a common form of vigil-ante behaviour in South Africa, where victims often do not survive the process.
There have been allegations of obstructions of ambulances, and some students have been advised that if they attend school, they should do so without wearing any form of identifiable school uniform. The president of the republic has been reported recently in local media as disapproving of the actions of strikers.
A number of deaths have been reported, allegedly due to the actions of strikers, and police have reportedly used rubber bullets, in accordance with usual police policies involving crowd control. Police and state agents, have been deployed to certain areas according to local media, reportedly, in order to address security, health and human special interests which could have been affected by the protest action.
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