The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) says it will be putting its trust in the justice system as members are awaiting the court’s decision on the conviction of 94 community health workers.
Speaking at the Free State High Court this morning, TAC’s Anele Yawa said those in power are undermining the law and using their powers to oppress other people.
His statement comes as heads of arguments were presented by advocates representing the Minister of Police and the Free State Health Department, on why the health workers had been convicted on charges of illegal gathering.
“At the end, the poor people will emerge and they will emerge victoriously. They will do this by using the only weapon, which is the constitution and the justice system platform. This platform represents the rights of the people; it doesn’t represent the rights of the rich or those who think they are better than others. So, we trust that the outcome of this court will be in favour of the majority. Adding to that, this case is no longer in the interest of the 94 workers only, but also in the interest of the whole country. We want to make history by setting a precedence,” Yawa explained.
The 94 health workers were appealing their conviction and sentence of three months’ imprisonment or R600 fine each, following their arrest in July 2014.
The workers had held a peaceful vigil, protesting against perceived unfair dismissals and the state of health care in the province outside Free State health headquarters, Bophelo House.
Their arguments had centred on the interpretation and legality of the Apartheid era Regulation of Gatherings Act, which they believe should not be applicable in the case of legal, peaceful protests in our current system.