Sizwe Mchunu, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison
The Democratic Alliance has called for urgent interim measures to be taken following the suspension of the only three officers within the Ladysmith accident response team, leaving a large area of rural KwaZulu-Natal without a swift reaction unit in the event of a collision.
The suspension of the officers has not only compromised the lives of people involved in accidents, it has also left paramedics in a vulnerable position while performing their duties at accident scenes. The area affected includes the town of Ladysmith, Ezakheni, Steadville, Mbulwana, Colenso, Tsakane, Roosboom, Driefontein, Peacetown and the N3 to Van Reenen, among other areas. According to a media report, the trio were suspended following the disappearance of counterfeit cigarettes that were confiscated in January.
While the suspension and internal disciplinary of these officers is entirely within the law, this is a process that can take months. Meanwhile, the entire community is at risk. These officers were responsible for ensuring that all aspects of an accident were recorded for court purposes. Paramedics are now being made to wait for the SAPS to arrive – which can take ages – and for them to draft a report before anyone or anything can be removed from accident wreckage.
This is completely unacceptable and is a violation of the basic human right to swift medical attention.
The DA expects police officials to act immediately and ensure that provisional measures are taken to ensure that lives are not further compromised.