The Health & Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) yesterday said it was opposed to the granting of bail to suspects who allegedly attacked emergency medical services (EMS) members in Cape Town over the festive period.
Hospersa’s legal manager, Sean McGladdery, said Hospersa had received reports indicating that there were seven attacks on Western Cape ambulances during the festive season. Ambulances were stoned and, in one incident, the crew was manhandled by a crowd. Ambulance crews had also been robbed of their personal possessions at gunpoint.
“Hospersa therefore fully endorses and supports the [health] department’s own reported initiatives to oppose bail,” said McGladdery.
“It is also our position that we reluctantly endorse the department’s message that our members should not respond to red-zone calls, awaiting further interventions by the department of labour, police, CPFs (community policing forums) and community leaders in the affected areas”.
So far, three suspects have been arrested in connection with attacks on paramedics. McGladdery said that on December 27 at about 7.30am, EMS members were robbed of their cellphones by two armed men while they were attending to a patient in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, in an area called Harare.
The next day, police arrested two suspects, both aged 19. A toy gun was also recovered.