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04 February 2017

KZN Department of Health condemns alleged religious discrimination at Northdale Hospital

THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has noted with great concern allegations that a nursing manager from Northdale Hospital was subjected to religious discrimination for keeping certain Hindu artefacts in a cupboard inside the hospital.

It is alleged that on Tuesday, 31 January 2017, following an anonymous tip-off, the CEO of Northdale Hospital summoned seven officials to accompany her to report to one of the facility’s wards, where the employee in question is the operational manager.

Upon their arrival, the nursing operations manager was allegedly instructed to open a cupboard and remove a box containing several religious artefacts. These included, among others, a framed religious photograph, a statue, an essence stick, and some money.

It is alleged that an inventory of the contents of the box was made and then the box was taken away. When hospital management tried to hand the box back to the nurse, she allegedly declined to accept it.

It is understood that the nursing operational manager was highly distressed by this incident.

The Department wishes to assure the public that this was an isolated incident, and that the matter will be fully investigated. If any individual is found guilty of contravening another’s Constitutional Rights, they will be subjected to the most appropriate sanction allowed by law.

The Department wishes to remind all government employees that in the course of their duty, they are at all times expected to fully respect and abide by the Constitution of South Africa, which states that: “No person shall be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly, and, without derogating from the generality of this provision, on one or more of the following grounds in particular: race, gender, sex, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture or language.”

As such, the Department fully upholds the rights of all citizens to follow and practice any religion of their choice. So long as such rights do not interfere with operations in the workplace.


Issued by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health
For enquiries, kindly contact Sam Mkhwanazi on 081 038 2193


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