Protea South Municipal Clinic in Soweto. File Picture: Itumeleng English / ANA

Johannesburg - Six clinic employees were allegedly held hostage by an aggrieved member of the public who demanded service after hours, the City of Johannesburg’s MMC for health said on Friday.

Councillor Mpho Phalatse, the MMC for health and social development, said she was shocked by the incident which took place at the Protea South Clinic on Thursday afternoon.

The clinic operates from 7am to 4pm, but on Thursday, staff had been waiting for an ambulance to transfer a patient to a hospital when two patients arrived and apparently demanded to be serviced at about 4.30pm.

“As it was already passed the official operational time, the staff referred the two patients to Chiawelo Community Healthcare Centre (which is) across the road or to come back the next day. This request was declined, and the six staff members were held hostage in the facility,” said Phalatse.

She said the staff were held hostage for about an hour.

Phalatse said she was shocked by the incident. She said the staff reported the incident to the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), who arrived when the men had fled.

A criminal case was opened by the JMPD, according to the MMC.

“Both staff and patients sustained no injuries. I wish to put it on record that on behalf of the City of Johannesburg, we condemn these criminal acts and that our JMPD will take decisive action to address these criminal actions.

“The JMPD working with other law enforcement agencies will respond decisively to deal with all the acts of criminality associated with such actions and hold those responsible to account. This will help avert the potential for the current situation to spiraling out of control and potentially result in all out violence against City employees working directly with residents,” she said.

Phalatse said an investigation into the individuals who held the staff hostage was being conducted.  

"We condemn these criminal acts and that our JMPD, working with other law enforcement agencies, will take decisive action to address this and hold those responsible to account. This will help avert the potential for the current situation to spiral out of control and potentially result in all out violence against city employees working directly with residents," she said.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minaar confirmed their officers had intervened in the matter. 

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