Paramedics 'left' stabbed dad to die

FILE PHOTO: Bloodied knife.
FILE PHOTO: Bloodied knife.

A man who was stabbed multiple times in a brutal mugging at the weekend died hours after an ambulance crew allegedly refused to take him to hospital as he was drunk.

The state paramedics called out to the bloody scene on Friday night in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, allegedly told Vuyani Moko's family they would have to transport the 54-year-old to hospital themselves as he had been drinking.

Moko was bleeding profusely at the time, with blood flowing from at least four wounds - one to his upper arm, two to his left thigh and one to his right leg. He was mugged minutes earlier, with his assailants making off with his wallet.

Moko's son, Lukhanyo Dama, 23, was the first to see that his father was stabbed.

"I saw the blood outside in the yard," Lukhanyo said.

"When I followed the trail, it led me to my father who, at first, did not want to tell me what had happened to him. I was panicking, I did not want to wake my mother because I did not want her to see the blood.

"After a few minutes my father told me he was robbed of his wallet and that the guys stabbed him," he said.

"I ran to the neighbours to ask for help because I didn't know what to do. My father's clothes were soaked in blood."

Moko's wife, Nontsizi Dama, 57, who was sleeping, was woken by the noise.

"I stepped out of the bedroom then I saw the blood. I frantically asked if they had called an ambulance and they said 'yes'."

According to the family, the ambulance arrived at around 10.30pm. They were, however, shocked by what happened next.

"Two paramedics [a male and female] were in the ambulance. The guy came into the house and just looked at my father, but didn't do anything even though he could see my father was injured. And then he asked us if my father had been drinking and we said 'yes'." He said his father had been drinking in the house earlier that evening and had stepped outside. He was robbed not far from home.

Lukhanyo said his unemployed father was then told by the paramedics they would not be transporting him to hospital and that the family had to get private transport.

"When we told him [paramedic] we do not have a car, he gave us bandages and a lot of plastic gloves and said we must treat my father's wounds ourselves. He [paramedic] said he was not going to take a drunk person to hospital.

"I begged him to help us [but] he said the bleeding would stop because the wounds looked small," he said.

The family, with the help of neighbours, said they had to cut Moko's bloodied clothes with scissors to treat the wounds, which at the time were still bleeding. When the ambulance crew drove off, the family called for one again.

Dama said she then checked on her husband three hours later, "just after 3am".

"He did not respond when I tried to wake him up. I started screaming. He was dead."

Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said it was Moko who refused to be taken to hospital.

"On arrival [of the ambulance], the patient refused conveyance after the wounds were dressed," Kupelo said, quoting from Moko's report form.

Dama disputed the claim: "That man [paramedic] refused to transport my husband. It's not true he did not want to go to hospital."

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