Operation Dudula takes frontline workers’ fight to Lesufi’s office

Operation Dudula, together with Covid-19 frontline workers, are marching to the department of health offices in Gauteng to demand appointment letters.

The group spent the night at the premier’s office with the hoping of meeting with Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng’s number-one citizen.

Speaking on behalf of Operation Dudula, Isaac Lesole said they have been called to help the frontline workers who were promised permanent jobs after their contracts expired.

However, he said, they remain unemployed.

Lesole said if the department fails to provide appointment letters, they will spend another cold night singing and chanting at Lesufi’s office.

“We have not seen Lesufi since we got at his office around 10am yesterday [Wednesday],” said Lesole.

“He advertised Nasi iSpani, which included the frontline workers. He stood in the podium [at Orlando Stadium last week] to say they [frontline workers] should return to their respective former work stations to get their appointment letters.

“The poor South African citizens went there and realised that the hospitals and clinics they worked for knew nothing about that.

“The premier lied to the people, the ANC continues to lie to people in need. We will not stand this, we will fight until everyone gets their appointment letter.”

The officials from the premier’s office told the protesters on Wednesday evening that they should return to their former work stations, promising that the appointment letters will be waiting for them this time.

Lesole said chaos erupted when Operation Dudula, on behalf of the frontline workers, asked for a written letter.

“They did not want to pen anything down and this made us realise that they are still lying to us,” said Lesole.

“They said they will update us in the morning [Thursday] but they fled the scene around midnight and no senior official is at the office today.

“This is the sad reality about the ruling party, they fail to stand for the mess they create, they would rather run away.”

Lesole said the frontline healthcare workers saved many lives at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“These people left their homes and their children to ask for their jobs back as it was promised to them,” he said.

“They saved our lives during the challenging times of Covid-19 when they were our hope. Now they have to fight for survival? They deserve their jobs back.”

A healthcare worker who asked not to be identified said she was willing to spend another night at the premier’s office if no positive response does not come through.

She said she has been unemployed since her contract expired in 2022, noting that she is looking for a way to feed her family.

“We want our jobs back. We worked way too hard to be dumped like that, bring the appointment letters to the premier’s office, it is where we will be found,” she said.


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