Irate police haul paramedic to van

2013-01-23 22:45

Cape Town - An altercation at the scene of an accident near Franschoek where a vehicle transporting sheep overturned, has resulted in a paramedic being manhandled into a police van.

Garth van Zyl, from Medicare EMR, was arrested on Tuesday for obstructing police in carrying out their duties after, at the request of the fire chief, he helped to secure the scene.

"The fire chief asked a member of the police to park his van in the lane in which the rescue was taking place. The accident scene was between two blind corners, the most dangerous being the corner uphill of the accident," Van Zyl said.

It is alleged the police officer refused to because he had damaged a police vehicle previously and is being held responsible for the costs of repair.

When Van Zyl's co-worker remonstrated with the officer he swore at the medics telling them to "fokkof".

The police officer then left the scene of the accident to fetch a colleague at the Franschhoek police station, claims Van Zyl, who then assisted with securing the scene.

When the two police officers returned to the scene they arrested the paramedic and forcibly marched him to their van.

On a video taken at the scene, Van Zyl can be heard voicing concern about his broken leg at which point they threaten to use "necessary force" and lock him up in the back of the vehicle.

At this point the fire chief again pleads with the police to help with traffic control and making the scene of the accident safe for the rescue teams to work, but the officers were more interested in "sorting this guy [Van Zyl] out", as he was "disturbing them".

A second police van eventually comes to the fire chief's assistance.

Various attempts to obtain comment from police proved fruitless.

  • phakoe.phakoe - 2013-01-23 22:54


      patrick.mbense - 2013-01-24 07:51

      Another Zimbabwe in the making this country.

      gideon.walt - 2013-01-24 07:57

      Almost got surprised

      UNITY - 2013-01-24 08:00

      The fire chief ..looks useless from the sounds of it.. interesting to note what authority a fire chief does have over a jurisdiction, and whether cops should obey a person of his authority ? and why if the fire chief asked for assistance from the paramedics when the police van failed to do so , was there still a problem? maybe theres another twist to this story? that is not on camera?

      kalabafazi - 2013-01-24 08:53

      @Silenta - How come we have never seen a half decent comment coming from you?

      pieter.pretorius.758 - 2013-01-24 09:00

      @ silenta.solly - Calling yourself an idiot 'cause you also comment here. We are free to read and say what we want, idiot.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-24 09:12

      Silenta Solly They supply the reasons, we bash. Any problems with that? Go do something else then.Like work.

      jacques.theron.3304 - 2013-01-24 09:26

      @Solly. Various attempts were made to obtain comment from the police, but no comments were given. If you had read the article you would have read that.

      stirrer.stirrer - 2013-01-24 09:35

      Solly, be Silent!

      serena.johnston.7 - 2013-01-24 13:03

      @Silenta ready slowly..... various attempts to get comment from police was fruitles!!!!!!!

      Kawasaki1985 - 2013-01-24 14:16

      Nanny State or Police State ??

      Elisha - 2013-01-24 15:39

      Shame... These poor sheep. I hate seeing animals hurt!

      ian.flack2 - 2013-01-24 18:47

      THere is something wrong here, why is the "paramedic" wearing shorts and takkies to an accident scene? Where is the overalls and safety shoes?

      sipho.mathabula - 2013-01-24 22:18

      Gee my net aseblief 1 skaap, ek wil net 1 skaap kry julle.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-01-25 07:48

      "Van Zyl can be heard voicing concern about his broken leg at which point they threaten to use "necessary force" and lock him up" Was the paramedic in the accident, how did he broke his leg, or is it just N24 reporting at it best?

  • matapudaka - 2013-01-23 23:08


      lynn.syme.1 - 2013-01-24 00:05

      Put a uniform on anything and the power goes to the head.

      lownabester - 2013-01-24 00:17

      You nailed it Lynn

      nuus.reeder - 2013-01-24 01:10

      Put a uniform on a person of weak character and and the power goes to their head.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-01-24 03:14

      @lynn those cops should clean toilets at the station for a month, that should bring them back down to earth

      Donkervlie - 2013-01-24 08:04

      These are Transkie police and they do not understand how a properly run province works or what the duties of the police are. Hopefully they will loose their jobs and go home.

      francie.potgieter - 2013-01-24 10:27

      No not moegoes they are maaifoelies.

      attie.stone.3 - 2013-01-24 17:35

      Vacuum effect Lynn

      denise.ryan.5203 - 2013-01-25 00:00

      'Irate' should read 'pathetic, cowards “faking a living” as policemen' The hero 'left the scene of the accident to fetch a colleague' - nothing like fighting your own battles.

  • sergio.o.williams - 2013-01-23 23:11

    little extra training required, i think!

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-23 23:46

      A little logic required, I think.

      Flippncool - 2013-01-24 00:45

      A different job I think.

      raoul.loggenberg - 2013-01-24 05:01

      No amount of training will help. They should get rid of the chip on their shoulders. Most of these sap members don't belong in the SAPS.

      andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-01-24 06:51

      Sue them first and then train them!

  • chumachienda - 2013-01-23 23:12

    God! What hope do we have with these morons

      emilyjane.elson - 2013-01-23 23:20

      Send them back to school and if they fail ANY of their tests, FIRE THEM!! All about revenge and power with these Okes, not what's right or the decent, lawful thing to do..

      chumachienda - 2013-01-23 23:42

      And to make matters worse these are the guys who are entrusted to protect us.Bunch of morons who can't even distinquish right from wrong,once again GOD wat hope do we have

      lacrimose.wolf - 2013-01-23 23:48

      They're probably well within the rules of the handbook. Common sense, compassion, logic are seldom taught.

      rimo.benjamin.5 - 2013-01-24 02:02

      You all will also probably arrested: intefering with police work. You all make sure that you do your jobs to the best of your ability.

      jaco.prinsloo.714 - 2013-01-24 02:56

      Ignorance is bliss eh rimo.

      gary.bloom.967 - 2013-01-24 07:30

      Marc, I don't know why your comment got so many likes. You know nothing about the cops in question or their background. Racial comments like your are not welcome in South Africa buddy. The cops however were on a power trip in the video, that much is certain.

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-24 07:52

      "They're probably well within the rules of the handbook. Common sense, compassion, logic are seldom taught", Lacrimose, one needs more than racism that drives you to employ these options.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-24 09:18

      Rimo,benjamin 5. We know our rights and we make sure the police know we know our rights. So do we look like a lot of a muck making hooligans to you?.

  • charliebates - 2013-01-23 23:17

    Review scene pictures on FB of the incident

      Flippncool - 2013-01-24 00:47

      Nothing there.

  • marthin.dejongh1 - 2013-01-23 23:26

    Maybe they were after the sheep and he was in the way.

      Sulette Behnke - 2013-01-24 01:02

      Lmao, valid point!

      shane.larson.96 - 2013-01-24 08:36

      ya you should know the cops steel everything, espesially in Sandton area, this makes them the highest paid cops in SA

      thelma.pottek - 2013-01-24 08:40

      That was my imediate thinking.

  • adrian.hill.750 - 2013-01-23 23:43

    So, the president builds a R230mil palace and makes the Guptas rich, the government complains when children speak their minds on TV, the cops shoot miners and arrest and manhandle paramedics....yet we are made to believe that South Africa is a better place for all....

      mogo.naut - 2013-01-24 10:53

      Nailed it right on the shower head..

      joshuam.ndlovu - 2013-01-24 12:15

      There is no logic in what you say think before you write

      Steven - 2013-01-24 15:26

      Joshua maybe some form of schooling and education might help....

      rajesh.sukha - 2013-01-24 17:18

      Yes it is a better place- because we can complain about the government without being killed, our children can be eductated and do what they want, our cops work damn hard to keep order - when they do their jobs we kids have a future...yes it a better place...

      rianasemail - 2013-01-24 19:20

      AAArrrg Rajesh, get over yourself...beeeg shyte is on the way, much much bigger shyte!

      patsy.smith.125 - 2013-01-25 11:18

      Yep! Ha frigging Ha!!! And we thought things were bad under NP rule.....?

  • Erna - 2013-01-23 23:46

    Wouldn't it be nice if they were as determined when handling violent strikers.

  • shaun.dragt - 2013-01-23 23:49

    Next time you're in a road very afraid. You never know what these pigs are gonna do!

  • debduplessis - 2013-01-24 00:16

    Absolutely DISGUSTING! The SAPS are there to serve & protect the innocent from harm instead of penalizing the very people who are innocent & performing the rescue! God forbid... this sounds like purely a racial incident originating from the police against the paramedics?

  • raymond.buis.3 - 2013-01-24 00:18

    Idiots , they should be fired. Arresting a para medic for something so stupid. What would have happened if that para medic was needed somewhere else but could not go due to the fact these police men , wait what I meant to say was pork rinders , took offence due to the fact that he was doing their job better than them.

  • Giancarlo_Groenewald - 2013-01-24 00:30

    This is starting to sound like what happened with a American Fire Chief. Here's the YouTube link:

  • christiaan.vanvuuren.9 - 2013-01-24 00:34


  • Ronald - 2013-01-24 00:48

    The true impact of the situation will probably escape the SAPS members concerned. They will just be proud and tell their friends that they made it on facebook

  • jonty.pieters - 2013-01-24 00:58

    Experienced, seen and heard of this to many times!!! Police in South Africa are a joke! im so glad this was filmed.. Although the level of incompetence within the police will most probably result in nothing happening to these thugs!!!

  • Sulette Behnke - 2013-01-24 01:01

    I wear uniform and now I can pretend to be a big boss! Klein mannetjie sindroom. He was more interested in showing he can throw around his weight than in helping the public. Typical! When my car was stolen I was interrogated as if I made it happen. I'm sure these cops become cops just to bully people

      nuus.reeder - 2013-01-24 01:15

      Certainly does seem to generally attract pretty poor quality people.

      rimo.benjamin.5 - 2013-01-24 01:56

      But the medic claimed that his leg was broken, but he was still able to walk and climb into the van.

      jaco.prinsloo.714 - 2013-01-24 03:05

      lol at this comment from rimo... his leg might still be healing and has recently been taken out of the cast which means that the chances of the leg getting injured again while they were manhandling him at the back of the van was good. You've clearly never had a leg injury so once again buddy... ignorance is bliss.

      minibotes - 2013-01-24 09:01

      @rimo Garths leg was broken when a drunk driver drove into him when he was walking on the pavement. He was in hospital for a few weeks and is still trying to recover. This happened last year and he has commented on the Traffic Fines page that it is causing him problems in his line of duty (Paramedic). He is a brilliant Paramedic and does allot of good work.

  • Sulette Behnke - 2013-01-24 01:05

    If I see how overweight most of these guys are these days it's a wonder they can catch anything but a cold. The last 5 times I saw policemen in uniform they were all eating somewhere. Says alot.

      Develyn33 - 2013-01-24 07:18

      @Sulette - yes, or parking in disabled parkings while they pop into the shops to buy something to eat!!

  • tommo.too - 2013-01-24 01:29

    How can a police officer tell the public to f- off??? I mean honestly...

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-01-24 10:49

      And, as usual, "Various attempts to obtain comment from police proved fruitless." Their bosses are telling us all the same thing. Nobody is accountable any more.

  • tertius.coetzer.7 - 2013-01-24 02:10

    Am I the only person who believes this country (government, and any and all of its departments) are a total and constant joke? I can't wait for the punch line, so we can rebuild whatever is left!

      indianajohn - 2013-01-24 09:14

      You have to admit though, the sheer speed at which they've set about destroying themselves is surprising. I thought it would take longer. It's just a pity that whoever is eventually charged with actually serving the country in place of the ANC will have to deal with all the devastation they've left in their wake.

  • Julia Griffiths - 2013-01-24 02:16

    The SAPS have an attitude problem its I am a policeman you shall do as i say. No thought is given to the situation its back to the days of 1960 attitude of the SAPS. Those two police will make up some or other story when asked by their superiors to justify their actions

  • womba.wonder - 2013-01-24 02:54

    Another day, another example of bungling police incompetence. A mob of untrained useless panicky bully-boys.

  • Michael Hawthorne - 2013-01-24 03:29

    just proves the anc mentality. This is the problem all over the country. corrruption down to the core.

      womba.wonder - 2013-01-24 05:12

      To the police. But they so seldom do a good job this is just hypothetical.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2013-01-24 04:20

    Now I understand why that SA rock band named themselves F*KOFPOLISIEKAR!

  • nsinyawarirhanzu.trevor - 2013-01-24 04:44

    SAPS is ANC,so they make the struggle continue and i have no doubt when it comes to their incompetece,matric and a bribery drivers licence is not goid enough for handling legal matters

  • siphom.mnguni - 2013-01-24 04:48

    when I read the story I brought back two incidents which happened to me a while ago where I encountered the police brutality regardless of the fact that I too I am a policeman. First incident I went to collect my new car and I was in the company of my wife. She suggested that we went the restaurant to celebrate our new car. When we left the restaurant at night we were stopped by three policemen, one brandishing an R5 rifle very aggressive. I deliberately delayed identifying myself that I am policeman. When I did the one brandishing a rifle accused me of having an attitude, mind you I was senior to him. The other incident I quickly identified myself when one policeman cocked the firearm next to my car at the driver's side aggressively ordering out of the car. The fact that I identified myself seemed to insensed him more and he accused me of being a bogus policeman and took my police identification card to do what he called he was checking. He threatened me with arrest. After searching my car and found nothing but my clothes and my university law books they quickly drove away.

      lydia.benkenstein - 2013-01-24 21:12

      Sorry that you had to experience this arrogant behaviour Siphom.mnquni. These guys have arrogant attitude and have no people skills. Something has to be done!

  • clemens.kiessig - 2013-01-24 05:28

    I feel sorry for the the real cops that grew up with a dream...idiots like these should have been picked up on the psychiatric test and never been able to become cops

      pieter.vanderwalt.739 - 2013-01-24 06:09

      The only test they do is to point out the nearest K.F.C.

      gary.maggz - 2013-01-24 08:39

      It's just a job to them and after getting a gun and badge they think they have a right to bully the public. They have absolutely no idea what it mans to 'protect and serve'. When u get 30000 applicants for 20 vacancies in the RTI, you can easily see where the problem lies. I too feel sorry for the 'real' cops who are passionate about their work.

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2013-01-24 05:36

    Totally un competent to do his (polise officer) work. Don't he know what is his duties about at an accident scene and must assist the paramedics..rather than to harass them. He should be fired on the spot and charged of endangering lifes... Definitely not worth to be called a Police man who should serve also and protect lifes.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2013-01-24 05:48

    mamparas illitered and dumb

  • Gideon.Viljoen - 2013-01-24 05:51

    It's funny if its one guy that tried to help them then they arrest him, if the mob is there they run and hide, typical SA Police

      Zabion Mbao - 2013-01-24 06:35

      Just go to OR Tambo Intl airport, Park station or King Shaka you will see these (wolves) called police how they conduct so called random searches by taking you to a dark corner or in the toilet where there is no camera. I wish they can do a special assignment or a third degree program. Mostly when you are on a direct flight from a foreign country, they will even ask you do you have dollars? what is got a police to do with dollars I thought it was SARS job.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2013-01-24 05:58

    The state of the nation. Both those police should be suspended and striped of their badges, they are nothing more than thugs.

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2013-01-24 06:00

    The sad thing is, if you give a natural bully more authority than he can handle, you will pick up problems. This is another incident where one idiot destroys the already fragile name of the SAPS. Disgusting, fire his @ss please. Before its too late.

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2013-01-24 06:05

    The shame is that there are very good police officers in the force. It is these elements that give the whole police force a bad name. And the officers in charge will not touch these elements because they "do not wnat trouble". The one thing I haven't hear ias the word racism because this is what we are seeing, but this is black on white racism and we can only whisper the word under these conditions!!!!

  • amanda.terblans - 2013-01-24 06:08

    They had to get him out of the way ... no witnesses for when they stole the sheep .

  • dale.nadasen.3 - 2013-01-24 06:10

    Soo, I guess those two cops didn't get it all that morning. Colossal Turds...

  • Shane Kelly - 2013-01-24 06:17

    Bloody bullies fire them with immediate affect get the scum out of the force.

  • Chris - 2013-01-24 06:25

    germany 1938

  • justice.malanot - 2013-01-24 06:27

    Good old cellphone camera's. Have one ready!

  • austin.waya - 2013-01-24 06:33

    I think disciplinary action will be taken to those two police officers.

  • ljcoetzee - 2013-01-24 06:56

    The reporting is very poor on this story.....I very often wonder, what happened to good this case the police had merit.....a tory always has two sides....

      Tiaan Liebenberg - 2013-01-24 07:06

      En wat is jou rang? Onthou, ALLE polisie lede is korrup

      Oompie - 2013-01-24 21:29

      Lodewyk, My friend you are right: A story always has two sides but even if this medic was at fault (Which I doubt) the patient always comes first. It is the duty of all first responders to provide the best care and protection to the patient and then sort out the differences through their commanding officers. If you are a police officer, I do understand your frustration. We still have good hardworking Police officers but they pay the price for unnecessary incidents like this badly managed by the Police officer on site.

  • Bra - 2013-01-24 06:57

    Bopha uyaphapha! This is a one sided story if this is wrongful arrest let him sure. Otherwise shut up!

      theo.konings.9 - 2013-01-24 15:09

      Your brain is one sided. Read it again brastrap !

  • rbuys - 2013-01-24 07:16

    It's not better in Gansbaai either. Police transporting a casualty who was stabbed in the chest to the police station in the back of the Police Bakkie

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-01-24 07:16

    Dumb, Dumber, SAPS!

  • CoolJay21 - 2013-01-24 07:18

    Bunch of arrogant prats! Fire them

  • Tiaan Liebenberg - 2013-01-24 07:19

    Lazy police. Why had he to leave and fetch a mate to help him? Why not just call for back-up? Police are idiots

  • hugo.sarli - 2013-01-24 07:21

    S A P S........

  • kitty2wp - 2013-01-24 07:22

    Protect and Serve - i think not! We don't need police like this. Paramedics are constantly working against all odds and it shouldn't be the job of the Fire Chief or Medics to organise traffic - on an accident scene they have to be focused - and surely the Police can take care of traffic and securing the scene - and definitely not making the situation even more dangerous. Cops like these give the hardworking Police force a bad name.

  • thechrisberryshow - 2013-01-24 07:24

    jeez man I hate the police

  • bluedevil678 - 2013-01-24 07:28

    Shame on you filthy pigs !

  • paul.mosdell.3 - 2013-01-24 07:38

    Given the danger to the crew and the public, Act 99 (1987) gives the Fire Officer overall authority at the incident (superseding that of the SAPS). They 1. Arrested someone delegated by the CFO to provide scene safety, thus endangering lives, and 2. Ignored the CFO's request for them to provide public safety at the incident, thus endangering lives. When egos take over!!!

  • fidlerfam - 2013-01-24 07:38

    Yup that's our police - aggressive and abusive