Two KwaZulu-Natal paramedics have been shot and wounded in the Amatikwe area of Inanda, north of Durban. The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday when they responded to a fake emergency call.

The paramedics were told that a woman was in labour. When they arrived in the vicinity, they met a man who led them to a gravel road, where he produced a firearm and demanded their valuables.

This comes after a controversial call by a labour union at the end of 2018 that paramedics be allowed to carry firearms due to such attacks.

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says, “We believe this is one of the issues that is affecting the service delivery of the health services particularly to our communities in rural areas and townships. Because once you start behaving in this fashion to the start, it means everyone who works for the emergency services is now going to be under pressure and be worried about their safety and when there are calls of emergencies that are coming, they are never going to be sure of whether they should respond or not respond, because they don’t know if it’s a proper call or not.”