Following a spate of more than 30 attacks on paramedics across South Africa, the SA Emergency Personnel Union has called on its members to start carrying firearms to protect themselves and their patients over the festive season.
At the end of last week, 2 Capetonian paramedics were held up at gunpoint on their way Mitchells Plain's Melomed Hospital with a code red patient.
They pulled over to help a man who was lying in the road, but he was just faking it and drew his gun on the paramedics.
This follows a rise in the attacks on paramedics the past 6 months, according to a report by IOL News.
The president of the SA Emergency Personnel Union, Mpho Mpogeng, has called on all the union’s members (7 000) to now arm themselves.
Our position is very clear. We are treating fire with fire. We don’t have to be apologetic when dealing with crime because crime will remain crime.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the union had tried to talk to the South African Police Service and the national Health Department, but to no avail.
It’s happening, our paramedics are arming themselves and going out on duty. This is our only option, we are on our own. If government had issued a statement like we did a long time ago, we wouldn’t be talking about this matter now. But they are cowards and do nothing to protect emergency workers.
This call to arms has been condemned by many South Africans, however. The Gun Free SA movement was shocked to hear the news.
Adele Kirsten of Gun Free SA stated that arming people only increases the chances of violence.
We know that arming people increases the potential for violence. (A gun) is a good offensive weapon, which is why you would arm your police force or military, but it’s not a good defensive weapon, so all the evidence shows that you increase your risk of being injured or dying.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!