Gauteng Health welcomes return of hijacked state vehicle

Gauteng Health welcomes return of hijacked state vehicle. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Gauteng Health welcomes return of hijacked state vehicle. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Published Jan 25, 2024


With the second quarter crime statistics pointing towards as many as 3 000 hijackings in Gauteng alone, the return of a Ward Based Primary Healthcare Outreach Team’s car after it was taken at gunpoint has been welcomed by the Gauteng Health Department.

At the time of the hijacking, the outreach healthcare team from the Stanza Bopape Community Health Centre were allegedly busy conducting their normal household visits at section 14 in Mamelodi around 10.30am when two perpetrators approached them.

The pair hijacked the team members’ state vehicle, but not before robbing them of their belongings such as cellphones and cash.

The department’s Motalatale Modiba expressed disappointment as he said the attack took place at a time when the department was seeking to strengthen its outreach programme to townships, informal settlements and hostels, in a bid to improve access to health services to previously disadvantaged areas.

“To push back on attacks on healthcare workers requires a collective effort where communities work closely with law enforcement agencies given that the attacks are taking place in the very communities where we are trying to expand services to.”

Thankfully, the department said the police had managed to recover the white VW Polo sedan which, by the time police found at Extension 11 in Mamelodi, had already been fitted with fake number plates.

A case of robbery and theft was subsequently opened with the Mamelodi East police station by the department, with counselling arranged for the affected staff members.

“The department strongly condemns attacks on our staff and calls on society to take a stand against such crimes as this has a dire impact on sustaining health services in communities,” he added.