Ambulance robbers should not get bail, says union

The Health & Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) on Friday 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.

Legal manager Sean McGladdery said Hospersa had received reports from its leadership indicating that there were seven attacks on Western Cape EMS ambulances during the festive period. Ambulances were stoned and in one incident the crew was manhandled by a crowd.

Ambulance crews were also robbed of their personal possessions at gunpoint.

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“Hospersa therefore fully endorses and supports the (health) department’s own reported initiatives to oppose bail in this instance,” 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, SAPS (SA Police Service), CPFs (Community Policing Forums) and community leaders in the affected areas”.

So far three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks on paramedics in Cape Town.

McGladdery said on 27 December 2016 at about 07:30, members of EMS were robbed of their cellular telephones by two armed males while they were attending to a patient in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, in an area called “Harare”.

The next day the police followed up on intelligence received from the community and apprehended two suspects, aged 19 years old.

The toy gun allegedly used in the robbery was also recovered by the police. Hospersa said it is opposed to the suspects being freed on bail.

African News Agency

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