The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in KwaZulu-Natal challenges the KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, to tell the public what plans are in place to keep paramedics safe, after a paramedic was shot and killed on Monday morning.
The IFP believes that it is high time for the KZN Health MEC to present a plan - with tangible solutions - to protect paramedics, who have become soft targets for criminals. For the MEC to condemn the killing of Phumzile Dlamini, an intermediate life support paramedic, without any plans to protect other paramedics, is hypocritical and useless. The IFP expects the MEC to tell the public how she intends to address the attacks on, and murder of, paramedics. Our paramedics cannot live in constant fear of being shot or attacked. No one can function in an environment of fear and intimidation, especially when they are called upon to save lives and bring relief to those in distress.
The IFP believes that these attacks on paramedics will also negatively affect those in need of ambulances. We must never reach a point where certain areas become ‘no-go’ areas for paramedics. This further proves that crime is rampant, and criminals do not fear of being jailed. This is an indictment on the authorities responsible for keeping citizens safe, as criminals have shown them the middle finger. They have failed to eradicate guns in our society.
The IFP further calls upon the KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, to intervene. As the Commander-in-Chief of KwaZulu-Natal, he should be very concerned about these senseless attacks on paramedics, which are destabilising the provision of healthcare to those in need. He must ensure that this matter is treated with urgency it deserves.