'Our lives matter': Durban court staff protest over COVID-19 protocols

'Our lives matter': Durban court staff protest over COVID-19 protocols

Some workers at the Durban Magistrate's Court have down tools and are protesting - claiming that management is not following COVID-19 protocols when it comes to dealing with positive cases at the court.

Durban Magistrates Court staff protest covid-19
Nushera Soodyal

Scores of admin staff and interpreters gathered outside the court on Monday, claiming that they have been kept in the dark about the number of cases in the court.

Speaking to Newswatch, a worker claimed that they had received word from the court manager that there are employees that have tested positive for COVID-19 from separate courts.

They say they expected the court to be closed and decontamination procedures to get underway this week, but that has not happened.

"In our first case, a legal aid attorney tested positive, and the court was decontaminated. There was then a second case with a magistrate. When that happened, the entire floor was put on two weeks leave and the building closed for three days.

"Now, another clerk has tested positive three days back, and two more. Since then, nothing has happened and everyone has continued as normal. They are even allowing the public, fully knowing, we have positive cases in there."

READ: Durban Magistrate's Court closed following suspected COVID-19 case

Another employee says she feels like their lives don't matter.

"They need to shut it down and decontaminate, our lives matter."

Members of the Public Servants Association were locked in a meeting with management today following up on the complaints.

The association's provincial manager, Mlungisi Ndlovu says they received info on the confirmed cases on Monday.

"A risk assessment has not been done. The place has not been decontaminated. There's miscommunication.

"We have met with management, we have agreed to say that if they have closed the courts before, what is stopping them from closing now. Our members are getting infected day-by-day."

Newswatch has sent queries regarding the allegations and the protest to the Department of Justice. They have not responded to the query as yet.

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