On Saturday, 21 August 2021, supporters of the “No To Mandatory Vaccination Rally” gathered near Groote Schuur Hospital. The group (about 60 people) held signs that read “Control the sheep” and “Keep calm and don’t vaccinate”.
Police were on the scene and spokesperson Joseph Swarbooi said that no incidents were reported. “Police members were present and requested the group to disperse, upon which they dispersed about 2 pm,” said Swartbooi.
Even though the anti-vaxxer protest was peaceful, the group still left their mark by targeting the Groote Schuur Hospital staff. Reportedly, disrespectful and attacking comments were made towards the staff.
“While the crux of their gripe focuses on anti-vaccination sentiments, they have taken aim and attacked our valued staff in a manner that is deeply disrespectful, accusatory, humiliating and demoralising,” the board said in a statement.
“Labelling this hospital, which has treated thousands of patients, Covid-19 and non-Covid-19, a ‘gas chamber’ and blatantly accusing our staff of killing patients is deeply disturbing and unacceptable.”
The board of the hospital feels that the protesters had no regard for the personnel who have been infected or have died because of the virus. They also find the comments made insensitive towards the patients and families who are currently in the hospital dealing with Covid-19.
At the moment, there are 246 patients in Groote Schuur Hospital because of Covid-19.