Paramedics attacked in office

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The South African Emergency Personnel Union has called on the government to jack up its communication system after its members were assaulted in front of the police.

The paramedics were assaulted in their offices in Glen Cowie near Jane Furse by angry villagers who accused them of neglecting their work on Saturday night.

The union also demanded that the provincial department of health and social development protect its members while they are on duty.

The union's president Mpho Mpogeng, pictured , said the police and bystanders had tried in vain to phone the paramedics for assistance after an accident.

They then went to the paramedics about 5km from the accident and found them in their offices. The phones were out of order.

"One of our members was assaulted while his colleagues had to run for their lives to avoid being attacked by angry people," Mpogeng said.

He added that it was of grave concern that the attack took place in full view of the police who did nothing to protect the paramedics.

"The department knows very well that there is a long-standing problem with the communication system and it makes it difficult for our members to be reached in times of need.

"The departments must come on board and upgrade the system.

"This kind of incident poses a serious danger to our safety. If we can be assaulted at our own station then what about when we are in the street?"

Provincial health and social development spokesman Phuti Seloba said if the phones were not working then it was only at the weekend as a result of heavy rains.

A case of assault has been opened.