Gauteng Health commends police’s swift response in hijacked State vehicle case

The Gauteng Department of Health has commended the South African Police Service (SAPS) for its swift response following a State vehicle hijacking incident in Mamelodi. The incident took place on Wednesday morning when the Ward-Based Primary Healthcare Outreach Team (WBPHCOT) from the Stanza Bopape Community Health Centre was conducting regular household visits at Section 14 in Mamelodi. It is then when the State vehicle was hijacked at gunpoint. According to the department, the officials were approached by two perpetrators who hijacked the State vehicle and robbed them of their belongings, including cell phones and cash. Department spokesperson Motalatale Modiba said the attack happened at a time when the department was strengthening its outreach programme to communities in townships, informal settlements and hostels (TISH), which is meant to improve access to health services to previously disadvantaged areas. 'To push back on attacks on healthcare workers requires a collective effort where communities w ork closely with law enforcement agencies, given that the attacks are taking place in the very communities where we are trying to expand services to,' Modiba said. Modiba said the police managed to recover the white VW Polo sedan, which had already been fitted with fake number plates at Extension 11 in Mamelodi, later in the day. 'The department has since opened a case of robbery and theft at Mamelodi East Police Station. Counselling has been arranged for the affected staff members.' The department has also strongly condemned the attacks on staff and called on society to take a stand against such crimes, warning this has a dire impact on sustaining health services in communities. Source: South African Government News Agency