Two paramedics on patrol in the Matikwe area of Durban during the early hours of Wednesday morning were subjected to a shocking ambush, where they were robbed and shot by an armed thug.
In an official statement released by the KZN Health Department, they confirm that the pair met a guide who was due to give them directions. He led them to a dirt road, where he produced a firearm and demanded their valuables. The man had got the paramedics there under the false pretence that there was someone “about to give birth”.
Durban paramedics attacked during fake call
During a scuffle, he fired shots from the back of the ambulance. The male suffered a serious bullet wound to his back, and his female colleague was hit on the wrist. This disgraceful attack only resulted in the theft of a cell phone. In a much-needed stroke of luck, a police van was on patrol nearby and rushed to the scene.
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu did not mince her words when expressing her sheer outrage over the incident. She slammed the crime in its entirety, labelling it a barbaric act:
“We are extremely shocked and, quite frankly, outraged by what has happened. It is inconceivable that someone sat down and planned to lure our paramedics, so that he could rob and wound them in this manner.”
“That this person decided to take advantage of the caring and responsive nature of our paramedics – who attend to emergencies regardless of where the call comes from or what time – is truly sad and nothing short of barbaric.”
DA condemn “appalling” incident
Those fierce sentiments were echoed across the party divide by the DA, too. Imran Keeka is a member of the DA Caucus in the KZN Legislature and called upon their opposite number in Dubran to implement more safeguarding procedures to keep our paramedics safe while on duty.
“The DA is appalled by this incident. We strongly condemn any such violence against state service employees, particularly those who are in the business of saving lives.”
“During the past few years, there have been several such attacks, with the issue reaching crisis point. This is an extremely serious situation and the DA expects Simelane-Zulu to turn her attention to our earlier solutions aimed at safeguarding such employees.”
Keeka suggested that all ambulances should be fitted with dashcams, and some ambulances should receive a police escort if they are travelling to well-known crime hotspots in Durban. The injured paramedics continue to receive treatment in hospital, with neither in a life-threatening condition.