An attack on a KZN EMS ambulance on Sunday, left the emergency vehicle damaged and the paramedics and patient visibly traumatised in the Amaouti area, in Phoenix.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Emergency Medical Services media liaison officer, Robert McKenzie, said, “On Sunday, after picking up a patient, the EMS unit was enroute to a clinic when they were blocked by a group of people who appeared to be intoxicated.

“The alleged drunken group attempted to stop the ambulance from passing through but emergency personnel forged ahead and drove through. Thereafter in the rush, a stone was thrown through the driver’s side window. Fortunately, the ambulance personnel and the patient escaped unharmed but were severely shaken up through the ordeal.” McKenzie said the vehicle was damaged and a case was reportedly registered at Phoenix SAPS.

This attack on the emergency medical personnel follows the violent stabbing of a paramedic which occurred outside the Illovo Medical Base, on Saturday. A paramedic, who was in full uniform and entering the base, was accosted and stabbed multiple times. Philani Nzuza is recovering at a Durban hospital after he was stabbed in the head and chest. KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said, “It is worrying that a health worker in full uniform going on duty can be attacked by thugs in this manner. We are glad he survived. The people who attacked him must have been under the influence of something that made them not to be in touch with reality. A health worker operating ambulances is a critical staff member. Even during the period of our massive protests against apartheid rule, health professionals were allowed to go through to hospitals and clinics because they could be going to save the lives of our people injured by the apartheid police.

“The behaviour of these thugs is seen as a practice that hinders our professionals from performing their national duty. It is callous and barbaric. We hope that the SAPS can do whatever it takes to apprehend the perpetrators of social ills,” said MEC Dhlomo.