The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal strongly condemns the shooting of two paramedics in the Matikwe area of Inanda, north of Durban, in the early hours of this morning.
According to reports the paramedics, who belong to the KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services, were allegedly shot by unknown gunmen. They have both been taken to hospital in critical condition.
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 last year. This is an extremely serious situation and the DA expects KZN’s new Health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to turn her attention to our earlier solutions aimed at safeguarding such employees.
Various interventions proposed by the DA to KZN’s Health portfolio committee some time ago include;
All ambulances being fitted with ‘dash cams’
Emergency response vehicles being equipped with proper ‘smash and grab’ equipment
Self-defence training for all paramedic staff and
Police escorts for ambulances called out to so-called ‘hot spots’ in the province.
These proposals were ignored by former KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo. It is now incumbent on MEC Simelane-Zulu to consider them as a matter of urgency.
The DA welcomes SAPS swift intervention in this latest incident and sincerely hopes that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will soon be brought to book. Our paramedics can no longer be the victims.
By Dr Imran Keeka,
MPL – Member of the DA Caucus in the KZN Legislature