KZN police investigate ambulance stoning

2015-04-01 12:49

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Durban - Police are investigating the stoning of an Emergency Medical Rescue Services ambulance in Umlazi, near Durban, on Tuesday night.

A brick was hurled at the vehicle as it was leaving the Prince M’Shiyeni Memorial Hospital. The medics were not injured in the incident.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirmed that detectives from the Umlazi police station were investigating the attack.

“A case of malicious damage to property was registered on Tuesday night. It is alleged that an ambulance was stoned by unknown suspects in V Section in Umlazi. The motive of the attack is unknown and no arrests have been made at this stage,” Zwane said. 

The incident follows the hijacking of two ambulances in uThungulu in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, and reports that paramedics across the province stayed away from work in a protest relating to the delayed back-payment of salary adjustments.

News24 obtained a copy of a memorandum circulated by irate staff which is dated March 31.

Veiled threat

While discussing the issue of unpaid allowances for Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD), the widely circulated document makes a veiled threat to medics who refused to stay away from work.

The sign-off states, “March 31, Do or die!”

A well-placed source with the ambulance service said many medics had booked off sick.

“There was a significant staff response to the stay-away and those who arrived were scared. Many asked for police escorts to emergencies and they were told by management that if they are worried they should take unpaid leave,” he said.

Department of health spokesperson Desmond Motha said there was “no crisis”.

“Officially there is no dispute that has been declared,” he said.

The department has reiterated that the strike is not protected, with medics forming part of an essential service.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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