An ambulance was found stripped on Thursday morning after it was hijacked on Wednesday night in Strydkraal, Ga-Nchabeleng, Limpopo.
The ambulance was en route to the EMS station in Ga-Nchabeleng after transporting a patient to Jane Furse Hospital when it was hijacked.
Crew members, who were in the Toyota Quantum, were robbed of their personal belongings. They were unharmed.
Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba condemned the act and called on residents, who may have any information, to assist the police with their investigation.
“It is quite unfathomable how a sane person can target such a valuable and sensitive community resource like an ambulance. Doesn’t anyone care that a community member, a relative or even a parent or sibling can lose their lives due to the non-availability of an ambulance because the one available has been hijacked and stripped for parts? What have we become as a society?
“We are pleading with anyone who might know something to come forward and assist the police so that the suspects can be arrested,” Ramathuba said.
The department said it procured 50 ambulances annually to beef up its fleet, but the impact was, however, minimal because of theft and hijackings.
“If it is not theft or hijacking of ambulances, it is nurses and guards at clinics who are targeted by these criminals which then thwart our efforts to render an effective 24-hour service,” Ramathuba added.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said no arrests have been made yet and investigations were continuing.