Monday, August 23, 2010

South African Bishops claim that state doctors', teachers' strike contravenes the public interest

"Bishops register their horror at violence and intimidation during public service strikes

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference wishes to register its horror at the incidences of violence and intimidation perpetrated by participants in the Public Servants Strike. In particular we abhor the inhuman conduct of denying doctors and patients access to hospitals and teachers and pupils access to their schools. We are horrified that care is being denied to the weakest and most vulnerable.

We call on all Educators and Healthcare Workers especially those who are Catholics, to examine their own conscience and action seriously. While we uphold and support your right to strike, we call on you to recognise the rights of others to choose freely what they want to do. In particular we call on you to give serious consideration to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and the young people who are desperately striving for a better life by completing their education.

Finally we plead with the Public Service Commission and Ministry of Education to ensure that in future negotiations about Educators’ remuneration are scheduled for the beginning of the year so as to avoid Educators’ strikes at this time when the Matric Students are preparing for their final examinations.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier
Archbishop of Durban
Spokesman of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference"
Former President of the SACBC Cardinal Wilfred Napier writing for the SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference)
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