FAN takes stand with medical interns abused by state health system – gears up for legal fight for their #FreedomToEARN

Media Statement

Freedom Advocacy Network

Media Statement

7 March 2022

FAN takes stand with medical interns abused by state health system – gears up for legal fight for their #FreedomToEARN

Recent media reports on the failure of the government-run healthcare system to pay the salaries of several medical interns at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital expose once again how the government infringes on the freedom of young South Africans to work and earn a living. FAN has accordingly instructed its legal team to take legal action on behalf of medical interns and reach out to young South Africans across the country who face the same abuse from the government.

Any employer who breaches a legal and binding work agreement by failing to compensate an employee for labour performed is in clear breach of the law and in violation of the fundamental right of all South Africans to work hard and earn a fair living.

According to media reports, one intern at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital expressed how the situation has "taken a toll” on the interns, leading to emotional and physical suffering. The government-run healthcare system, as the employer of these young South Africans, stands responsible. “I have lost so much weight because I'm starving. We don’t even have food,” the intern said.

Says Tiego Thotse of FAN: “For any employer to abuse an employee is shameful – for the government of the country to do this to young South Africans trying to help others in the health sector is nothing short of a disgrace. FAN is reliably informed that these interns are by no means the only South Africans in the public health sector suffering in this way, abused by a government either too incompetent or too cruel to pay them for work.

“Because of this gross violation of the #FreedomToEARN, FAN today launches a campaign to right this wrong, fight on behalf of these interns and others, and to fix this failure of government.”

FAN encourages all people in the public health sector similarly affected by government failures to pay rightfully earned salaries to come forward and stand alongside FAN and defend their #FreedomToEARN. Fill in the form here if you  want FAN to fight for you.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Tiego Thotse

FAN Operations and Advocacy Manager

Cell: +27 68 092 3035

Hermann Pretorius

FAN Managing Director

Cell: +27 79 875 4290