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Police officers set to defy South African strike ban

Thousands of civil servants took to the streets across South Africa yesterday in a peaceful demonstration for higher pay. Five thousand marched in Cape Town; another 10,000 took to the streets in Johannesburg.

The police union said its members would start striking tomorrow, in defiance of a court order. Officers who refuse to work could be fired, police said.

The national strike by public workers is in its ninth day, with no resolution in sight. The strike has left volunteers changing babies' nappies and retired nurses dispensing medicines in public hospitals.