Thursday, 13 June, 2024
HomeNews UpdateANC 'big shot' charged for assault on paramedic

ANC 'big shot' charged for assault on paramedic

An ANC official is accused of assaulting Johannesburg paramedic Shalati Mushwana – who said he also threatened to have her fired – after she had treated and transported his brother, injured in a car accident, to hospital last week.

Mushwana, who had to be treated for soft tissue damage to her hand afterwards, told News24 that Justice Ngalonkulu, the ANC’s head of elections in Johannesburg, kept telling her he was a “big shot in the ANC” while verbally and physically assaulting her, and saying: “I own Gauteng.”

The drama happened after she had asked him to move his car, which was blocking the door of the ambulance that had transported his brother to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital after the accident.

“I asked him politely to move the car so I could offload the patient, and he started swearing at me … I tried to explain I could not offload his brother with the car blocking the way.”

Eventually, the person who had been in the car with Ngalonkulu moved the vehicle, but the man continued his tirade against the paramedic.

When she called security to assist her, “all hell broke loose”.

“He started beating me on the chest and shoulder, shouting: ‘Do you know who I am? Do you know what I’m capable of? You are going to lose your job’.”

When she asked him why he was assaulting her, he allegedly said he was going to call Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.

The paramedic said she went into the trauma unit in the casualty ward and asked security not to allow Ngalonkulu to enter. But, she claimed, he forced his way in and continued saying he was calling Nkomo-Ralehoko.

Injury

Mushwana suffered soft tissue injuries to her hand from the altercation, requiring medical attention.

“I’m saddened about how I was treated by an ANC member – a person who was supposed to say no to paramedic attacks and yet he used his power to assault me, saying: ‘I own Gauteng. Consider your job finished’.

News24 spoke to a security guard who was on duty that night who confirmed a man had assaulted a paramedic, and that when guards had tried to stop him, he overpowered them.

“He just pushed us and continued hitting her. When we asked him to stop, he said he would get all of us fired,” the guard said.

Another nurse confirmed the assault.

“He was very disruptive and forced his way into the ward where we were treating his brother. We kept explaining we don’t allow family there when we treat patients and that we would keep him updated, but he didn’t listen. He told us he had direct access to the MEC and would report us and get all of us fired, including the doctors.”

Mushwana has opened a case of assault with the police, and although she was told Ngalonkulu had been arrested, getting an update about the case has been challenging, she said.

“I have been sent from pillar to post. When I went to the police station to see when he would be appearing in court, I was told not to worry about court because I was not needed. I went to court nonetheless on the Monday… but his name was not on the roll.”

The incident had left her traumatised, she added.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Mavela Masondo said the case was under investigation.

“The docket is still in the court after the suspect made a first appearance,” Masondo said.

Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson Motalatale Modiba confirmed that an Emergency Medical Services employee had been assaulted and opened a criminal case at the Diepkloof Police Station.

He said a case of injury on duty was registered and counselling services were offered to her.

“Attacks on paramedics or healthcare workers in general can never be condoned under any circumstances,” Modiba said.

Efforts to reach Ngalonkulu were unsuccessful. His cellphone number listed on the City of Johannesburg website was answered by a man who said it was the wrong number.

A number on his official Facebook page was answered by someone who referred News24 to regional ANC spokesperson Masilo Serekele, who has yet to respond.

More assault

In Pretoria, meanwhile, Tshwane MMC for health Rina Marx said that an assault case had to be opened with police after an incident at Lotus Gardens Clinic when a duty nurse was verbally assaulted and pushed around.

“Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident, as staff at other clinics have experienced similar abusive behaviour,” she told TimesLIVE.

“As part of our zero tolerance of this unbecoming and deplorable behaviour, security has been instructed to remove from the premises any person who poses a security risk to our infrastructure, staff and patients. The City of Tshwane strives to offer the best possible services to communities at its 24 primary healthcare clinics.”

She said in another case, there had been a break-in at Danville Clinic in Pretoria West, where security guards were overpowered and tied up before the robbers made off with 33 computers worth about R200 000.

 

News24 article – Do you know who I am?': Joburg ANC big shot accused of assaulting paramedic, threatening their job (Restricted access)

 

TimesLIVE article – Tshwane health MMC condemns thefts, abuse of staff (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Violent attacks prompt special training for Gauteng healthcare staff

 

Gauteng EMS plagued by attacks and shortages

 

Union urges stricter security after nurse killed in Eastern Cape hospital

 

Hospital security fails yet again with another patient shot dead in Durban

 

 

 

 

 

 

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