Patient killed in ambulance in Atteridgeville mob justice attack, Pretoria
Members of the Gauteng Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were left scrambling on Monday night, 21 November 2022, when they came under fire from an angry mob who attacked and killed a patient in an ambulance in Atteridgeville, Tshwane. On Tuesday the Gauteng Health Department said the incident took place at Mshongoville informal settlement when EMS members attended to a call about a patient being assaulted, who was in a critical state. “A call was made to the Gauteng Emergency Communication Centre at around 19h44. An ambulance was dispatched to the area at 20h00. A police escort was requested to allow the response team to enter the area safely.”
The patient was found on the ground surrounded by members of the community. “Paramedics were able to initiate treatment and prepared to transport the patient to the nearest hospital. As the ambulance was getting ready to leave the scene, community members started throwing stones and barricaded the road to prevent the ambulance leaving.”
The patient had allegedly been accused of committing a crime and the community demanded justice. “Paramedics ran for cover as they were now under attack. Unfortunately, the patient was further fatally assaulted while on an ambulance stretcher. The ambulance was extensively damaged and medical equipment was stolen. A case has been opened with the police.”
Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko urged people to refrain from attacking EMS staff and taking the law into their own hands. “Attacks on our personnel have dire consequences as they make it difficult for them to discharge their constitutional mandate to provide access to healthcare services. I will further engage the community safety department and community structures to see how we can work together to strengthen interventions in place to curb such incidents.”
Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said a case of murder has been opened at the Atteridgeville Police Station.
According to the Health Department there have been 12 incidents this year in which EMS staff, also known as Green Angels, were attacked. These include:
The department said 12 incidents were recorded in 2021. “Despite the attacks, the Green Angels continue to respond to an increased volume of calls. More than 490 000 calls were received by the Gauteng EMS communication centre between September 2021 and August 2022.”