Trio charged with stealing emergency equipment

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

An ambulance driver has been arrested for allegedly stealing emergency equipment and selling it to a private ambulance company in Mpumalanga.

The emergency medical staffer, based at the Sabie ambulance station, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly stealing ECG monitors worth R130000, cervical collars and pulse oximeters and selling it to a couple in Nelspruit.

Mpumalanga health and social services spokesman, Mpho Gabashane, said: "While working at the scene of an accident one of our employees recognised our equipment being used by a private ambulance service stationed in Lydenburg and alerted the police."

"After searching the premises of the private ambulance service, police discovered more equipment belonging to the department, not only from Sabie, but from other stations in the Lowveld.

"The police arrested the couple who are the owners of the private ambulance service. They are being held in the Nelspruit police cells," he said.

It appeared that they had collaborated with the employee at the Sabie station who was selling the equipment to them.

"We believe there might be other people working with them in the scam, and more arrests might follow.

"We are very concerned that there are still people in our employ, who, acting out of sheer greed, continue to frustrate the concerted efforts made by the department to build an efficient and effective emergency medical service in the province.

"These emergency services are desperately needed by many of our people," Gabashane said.

"We do not have any place for this type of person in our service," he said.

Inspector Hezekiel Masilela said police investigations were under way.

The three suspects will appear in court soon.