This follows the recent shocking manhandling of Dr Emmanuel Taban and his wife in Gauteng. In another recent incident, a senior critical care colleague from Johannesburg was handcuffed before being released by the police after acknowledgement that the travel permit was in order. 

Various local medical societies have condemned the treatment of healthcare workers at the hands of police [Image: Freepik/master1305].

Other colleagues working on the front line of the pandemic describe similar harrowing experiences by threatening and rude law enforcement officers whilst driving to and from work, at all hours of the day and night. Some colleagues have resorted to remaining at their place of work rather than driving home after hours, for fear of similar treatment.

CCSSA, SAMA, SASA and SATS believe that such treatment by police of any citizen of our country is a violation of human rights and grossly unacceptable. For health professionals, who are putting their lives at risk on a daily basis to deliver much-needed health care to the people of our country, this behaviour by the police is devaluing and deflating. While the the need for law enforcement is understood, the police should be providing protection and support to health professionals working to fight the pandemic and not causing them to fear being tortured and bullied

CCSSA, SAMA, SASA and SATS particularly deplore the extreme nature of the violence against Dr Taban and his wife at the hands of law enforcement officers and urge the responsible authorities to take urgent action against such police behaviour, and to protect and support all our health care professionals as they strive to serve the people of South Africa during these trying times.