An emergency medical services crew was beaten, kicked and pepper-sprayed in Masiphumelele while responding to a call-out in the early hours of Monday morning.
EMS spokeswoman Keri Davids said the paramedics, a man and a woman, were responding to a drug overdose call at about 2am.
While they were treating the patient in the ambulance, a group of about five men climbed inside and pepper- sprayed them.
The male paramedic ran out of the ambulance to get help, while his colleague remained with the patient.
“The attackers ran after him. He fell and they started kicking him, they frisked him and took his cell phone and ambulance key,’’ Davids said.
“Unfortunately this sort of things happens all the time in the city… The crew is traumatised and still in shock,” Davids said.
The paramedics are receiving trauma counselling.
The ambulance was recovered by police. A case of robbery and assault has been opened.
Davids said the hot spots were Mew Way and Site B Khayelitsha, Elsies River, Eastridge in Mitchells Plain and the R300.
Incidents included stoning, stealing equipment and the crew’s cellphones and wallets, and sometimes physical and verbal assault.
Masiphumelele community leader Mzubukile Nikelo said ambulances delivered essential services and should be respected.
He said it was “disgusting’’ that gangsters were putting the community at risk because of their selfish acts.”
Councillor Felicity Purchase said the ‘‘unsavoury incident’’ would spoil the relationship between emergency services and the community. - Cape Argus