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Paramedics attacked while aiding stab victim

Published Apr 30, 2012


Two paramedics treating a pensioner bleeding from stab wounds had to flee to the nearest police station when they were attacked.

A drunk woman swore at the paramedics, hurled a bottle at Isaac Makhura, 45, in Ivory Park, and hit his left thigh, he said. Then a man brandished a bottle and threatened them. It happened on Saturday at about 4.30am.

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Makhura was unable to walk for some time after the attack.

With the pensioner in the back of the ambulance, the two paramedics rushed to the police station to report the assault.

Police later arrested the woman attacker. The other attacker had already fled.

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Synock Matobako, spokeswoman for Joburg’s Emergency Management Services, condemned the incident, saying attacks on paramedics were on the increase.

“This is too much. We go out to help others – and we are not doing this for money, it’s a calling. Communities must support us and also protect us.

“We will find it difficult to respond to calls because we don’t have guns or security guards.

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“It will be a sad day if we fail to respond to calls because we are scared (of being attacked) and people die,” Matobako said.

Makhura said such cases were worrying because the paramedics often encountered aggressive people who wanted to attack them when they were doing their job.

He said two young women and two men outside the house where the injured woman was had called them “lazy” and said they had taken their time to get to the scene. Inside the two paramedics found an old woman on a sofa, bleeding and crying. She had been stabbed in the head and hand, allegedly by her 18-year-old granddaughter.

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After putting her in the ambulance, they had tried to speak to the group, but things turned nasty. A drunk woman became extremely aggressive.

“She said I must not speak to her in Sepedi and that we had arrived there with a Pedi attitude,” Makhura recalled.

The woman reached for a bottle, but Makhura grabbed her hands from behind. A man took a bottle and Makhura let go of the woman to avoid being hit.

The woman hurled her bottle at Makhura, striking his thigh.

Makhura’s colleagues took the stabbed woman to hospital, while he went to hospital for treatment.

It was the third time that Makhura had responded to calls from that house.

The first time had been for a drug overdose. The second time it was for a pregnancy.

Makhura said this was his first brush with violence, but some of his colleagues’ fire engines had twice had stones thrown at them.

They were able to put out the fires only when police arrived to protect them. - The Star

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