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News > South Africa

Police Use Rubber Bullets to Disperse Protestors in Pretoria

  • Groups for and against migrants brawl outside a hospital, Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 1, 2022.

    Groups for and against migrants brawl outside a hospital, Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 1, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @TimesLIVE

Published 1 September 2022

Protests outside Kalafong Hospital intensified after Dr. Phophi Ramathuba released a video in which she berated a Zimbabwean citizen for seeking medical care in South Africa.

On Thursday, violent clashes erupted outside the Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria between members of Operation Dudula and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).


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This happened when South Africa's Health Minister Joe Phaahla was visiting the healthcare facility, and the police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the protesters and maintain order. 

Operation Dudula members were protesting outside the hospital to prevent undocumented foreigners from accessing healthcare. They clashed with those of the EFF, the pro-migrant and major opposition party in South Africa.

"These groups of people have been blocking access to health facilities thus causing serious disruptions to provision of health services to vulnerable ill people... I am hereby making a call to the leaders and followers of the organizations responsible for the blockades of our health facilities to stop these with immediate effect," Phaahla said.

"We looked at the issues which the leadership of Operation Dudula is concerned about in terms of the pressure on the hospitals, the workload, the long queues, and other corruption allegations and we've agreed that we can address these issues without any need for picketing and demonstration," the Health minister added.

Phaahla said the State should come up with solutions that will reduce the pressure on the country's national services from neighboring countries and not ordinary citizens.

"I am calling on fellow South Africans, whether organized or not, to avoid being lured into activities which are unlawful and will not benefit them as individuals or their communities. By blocking entrances of our health facilities, you are disadvantageous to the very citizens who you think you are acting in defense of," he said.

Since the beginning of this year, the Dudula Movement has protested against illegal migration. The protests were launched outside Kalafong following the video released by Dr. Phophi Ramathuba in which she berated a Zimbabwean national for seeking medical care in South Africa.

Gauteng and Limpopo are two provinces where foreign nationals use South Africa's healthcare system often to access services that are limited in their own countries.

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