DENOSA statement on the assault of its provincial leaders and shop stewards by leaders of the other union at Louis Pasteur Private Hospital in Pretoria today

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) is disappointed to learn of the assault of three of its Gauteng Provincial Office Bearers (POB) and two of its provincial officials by members, including national leaders, of another trade union at the Louis Pasteur Private Hospital in Pretoria today when they had come to consult with their members on the ongoing issues affecting workers at the facility. 

DENOSA takes this highest form of provocation very seriously as it interferes with the organisation’s right to exist and represent its members. DENOSA is appealing to all its members to identify the perpetrators in this barbaric act, as circulating on social media, so they can be held accountable.  

DENOSA Gauteng Chairperson, cde Simphiwe Gada; Deputy Chairperson who also serves as COSATU Gauteng Deputy Chairperson, Thabang Sonyathi; Provincial Treasurer, Jessica Mathebula; Provincial Organiser, Mamagadi Kgonodi; and full-time shop steward, Bolokang Montwedi, were all assaulted when they had come to consult with their shop steward at the institution, to fulfill their obligation towards their members as enshrined in the Labour Relations Act, Chapter III Section 12 (1). 

DENOSA provincial leaders had an appointment with our members and shop stewards at the institution, as they had been frequenting the facility for a couple of weeks now since there are issues concerning our members’ interest and livelihood. 

Upon entering the facility, they greeted fellow workers whom they saw were picketing outside the facility as worker struggles are not along trade union affiliation line. Upon their exit, however, members of the Young Nurses Indaba union, including national leaders, disappointingly, confronted them and pelted them with hard objects. 

The assault continued until the police fire stern grenades to disperse them. Video evidence, including perpetrators is circulating on social media networks. We are following up on this matter with the view to seeking justice and to protect our right to represent our members at that institution.

In this barbaric behaviour, they were pelted with hard objects like eggs, milk and hard containers and had their belongings damaged, including prescription glasses and gadgets. 

The attack to DENOSA for gaining access to its shop stewards and members by another trade unions is embarrassing and likely to create more tensions among nurses themselves and take the focus from the common struggle of all workers. It also bears testimony to poor foresight by leaders on worker issues. 

DENOSA is appealing to all its shop stewards to emulate their leaders in the province who responded by being calm when they were provoked in the highest form of humiliation and attack.  

Furthermore, DENOSA is reminding its shop stewards and members of the organisation’s values of respect and thoughtfulness before getting carried away by emotions.

In the end, workers could become the ultimate victims of circumstances as they could easily lose their income because of the egotism by unions who market themselves and show a ‘paper tiger-like’ militancy at their expense.             

We call for high moral and high discipline amongst its forces. 


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) 

For more information, contact:

Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA Acting General Secretary 

Mobile: 082 328 9671 

Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President

Mobile: 082 328 9635 

Tel: 012 343 2315