Zille reiterates call for SANDF deployment following attack on EMS crew

The ambulance crew was robbed at gunpoint near the Borcherds Quarry offramp in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

FILE: SANDF soldiers. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Three suspects behind the attack on paramedics on the N2 highway, which led to the death of a boy are, still at large.

The ambulance crew was robbed at gunpoint near the Borcherds Quarry offramp in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

They were rushing an eight-year-old car crash survivor to hospital when they were ambushed.

The boy had sustained severe head injuries in the collision. The incident has stunned many, including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.

She says that the continued attacks on emergency services personnel is one of the reasons that she wants the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed to the streets as a force multiplier.

“We want the SANDF personnel brought in under clause 19 of the Defence Act to do specific things. The first thing would be to accompany our emergency medical vehicles, especially into red zones.”

Several areas, including Hanover Park, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Manenberg, have been identified as so-called red zones where emergency crews have been targeted by criminals.

This means emergency personnel have to be escorted into a red zone area by police.

Last month, Zille and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula called fort SANDF’s deployment to crime hotspots.

Mbalula requested that the Defence Minister send in soldiers to known gang areas in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

As commander-in-chief of SANDF, it’s now up to President Jacob Zuma to decide if the army should be deployed to help police battle crime.

Specific details regarding the deployment’s timeframes have yet to be provided.

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)