Clinic armed robbery: KZN Health MEC dismayed and disgusted by theft of 4x4 bakkie and computers; calls for communities and whistle-blowers to help root out criminal element from society

29 October 2019

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has condemned a seemingly well-orchestrated armed robbery at Injabulo Clinic in Camperdown, which saw criminals get away with a 4x4 Double Cab bakkie, 14 computers, and three TV sets, in the early hours of yesterday.

The incident took place around 3am, and was preceded by another armed robbery at Mvini Primary School, which was also dispossessed of an undisclosed number of computers, prompting suspicion that the same syndicate is involved.

MEC Simelane-Zulu is disgusted by both incidents, which she has described as "morally reprehensible."

It is alleged that on Monday, at about 3am, two men in a Toyota Quantum approached security guards at the clinic under the pretext of seeking water to help cool the vehicle which, they claimed, was overheating.

It is believed that while the two guards were distracted and trying to attend to them men, two of their accomplices were busy cutting a whole in the fence in the backyard of the clinic.

Within moments, the guards were cornered and overpowered by the men. Their hands bound with cable ties, they were made to lie down on the floor, while the armed men ransacked the clinic’s consulting rooms, reception area, and data capturing room.

The robbers' haul – which included the 14 computers, two flat screen, and old-style analogue TV, a microwave oven and a 30m electric chord – was then bundled into the Toyota Quantum.

The men then demanded the keys to the clinic's white Toyota 4x4 with Departmental markings on the sides, which was normally used for community outreach programmes.

The guards were then frog-marched into the storeroom and locked inside while the men got away. The guards were eventually found at dawn, by a patient who had wanted to be first in the queue.

After hearing the guards’ screams, she summoned help from nurses living in adjoining properties. Police and the local traditional leadership soon arrived, and the guards, still shaken, were then freed.

Healthcare service delivery ground to the halt at the clinic for the whole of yesterday due to the incident, and is only expected to resume today.

KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has condemned the incident in the strongest possible terms.

"We are completely taken aback, dismayed and disgusted by this incident. It is a crying shame. You just know that something has gone terribly wrong in society when a place that the community turns to for its healthcare needs, such as a clinic, is targeted and destroyed in such fashion. Even during Apartheid, healthcare workers and the facilities where they worked were spared from harm. They were respected, but clearly not anymore. We condemn this, as it is morally reprehensible. We call upon all our communities to take ownership of their health facilities, and not allow something like this to continue. They must squeeze out, isolate and expose all of these criminals who are holding us to ransom when we are trying to deliver much-needed healthcare services, because someone, somewhere knows them. We call on the police to do everything possible to bring these perpetrators to book."

ENDS

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This page last edited on 31 October, 2019

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