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HomeMedico-LegalEastern Cape Health ordered to pay 6 doctors' salaries

Eastern Cape Health ordered to pay 6 doctors' salaries

The Mthatha High Court has ordered the Eastern Cape Health Department and the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital to pay six medical officers their salaries dating back to January month-end. DispatchLIVE reports that acting judge Samson Dunywa further declared the conduct by the doctors’ employer as unlawful.

According to DispatchLIVE, it was reported last month that the doctors – Siyamthanda Lwana, Aphelele Mniki, Olwethu Mihlali Sifuba, Sibusiso Mbili, Awonke Mdlongwa and Lucky Msomi – have been working in the hospital since 2018.

Their two-year mandatory internship and community service stint at the Mthatha-based hospital, encompassing experience in units such as orthopaedics, obstetrics & gynaecology and anaesthesia, finished in December. They were then offered permanent employment. But when payday arrived in January, their salaries did not. The doctors took their employer to court, demanding payment.

Dunywa declared the failure by the department and hospital to “honour and pay the applicants salaries in terms of the contracts of employment” unlawful.

“The second (superintendent-general for the department of health) and third respondents (the CEO of NMAH) are forthwith directed to pay the applicants salaries to each applicant’s chosen banking account, from the month end of January 2021 and to continue doing so for as long as the contracts of employment concluded in December 2020 subsist,” the order says.

“The second and third respondents, acting through any one of their officials or otherwise, are interdicted and restrained from, in any manner whatsoever unlawfully taking steps, effect of which would deprive the applicants of their monthly salaries of their positions as medical officers.”

In court papers, the doctors’ counsel, advocate Apla Bodlani instructed by TL Luzipho Attorneys, said the department’s conduct was a continuing unconstitutional wrong.

DispatchLIVE reports that questions were sent to health spokesperson Siyanda Manana but answers had not been received by print deadline.

 

[link url="https://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2021-03-04-mthatha-court-orders-state-to-pay-its-doctors/"]Full DispatchLIVE report (Restricted access)[/link]

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