A private ambulance company has charged the City of Ethekwini, alleging that KwaZulu-Natal Metro Police officials kidnapped their staff, North Glen News reports.
The company says their paramedics were stationed in the south of Durban when they were notified of an accident. But when they got to the scene, there was no accident.
“On Wednesday, 4 April, our staff were stationed in the south Durban region when they became aware of an accident in Isipingo. They arrived to find that the accident had in fact been staged by members of the eThekwini Metro Police and officials from Icasa as part of what we understand was an unauthorised operation,” said Rescue Care emergency service in a statement.
Rescue Care claims that their staff were harassed by the same metro police officials who allegedly staged the accident.
“We responded with haste because in most cases people have been injured and require prompt medical care. Our ambulance was searched without a warrant or reason to believe it was involved in the commission of a crime. Our staff were ostensibly kidnapped and had their phones taken from them. They were harassed and pilloried by officers of the eThekwini Metro Police. It remains unclear to us exactly what these officials were searching for,” said the emergency service company
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed that a sting operation was conducted by metro police. However, he added he had not received any information regarding a charge against the officials.
“The operation was requested by Icasa, and it was, in fact, legal. I have not received any complaint or information regarding a charge. The matter will, however, be dealt with accordingly,” said Sewpersad.
The company said their attorneys had proceeded with registering criminal cases of a contravention of section 28 of the Criminal Procedure Act [unlawful search], kidnapping, unauthorised borrowing, cybercrime, crimen injuria and impersonating a police officer against the officials linked to the incident.
Paseka Maleka, spokesperson for Icasa, said the staged operation was an initiative by the eThekwini Metro Police on suspicion that ambulance services and tow truck operators may be using illegal radios to communicate with each other when there are reports of accidents.
“The police further alleged that at times accident scenes are tampered with, making it difficult for them to investigate. Icasa was roped in as experts who would be able to identify any illegal electronic communication equipment being used,” Maleka said.