Two paramedics on patrol in the Matikwe area of Durban during the early hours of Wednesday morning were subjected to a shocking ambush, where they were robbed and shot by an armed thug.

In an official statement released by the KZN Health Department, they confirm that the pair met a guide who was due to give them directions. He led them to a dirt road, where he produced a firearm and demanded their valuables. The man had got the paramedics there under the false pretence that there was someone “about to give birth”.

They were shot in the early hours of Wednesday morning after they responded to a plea for help in a maternity-related matter in the Amatikwe area of Inanda, north of Durban. The provincial department of health said on Wednesday that when the medics arrived in the area they were met by a man who was supposed to direct them to the correct house.

“He led them to a dirt road, where he produced a firearm and demanded their valuables,” the department said.

While trying to flee the scene, the paramedics were shot in the back and wrist. Their cellphones were also stolen.

MEC for health in the province Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu described the incident as “shocking and barbaric”.

“We are extremely shocked and, quite frankly, outraged by what has happened. It is inconceivable that someone sat down and planned to lure our paramedics so that he could rob and wound them in this manner,” said Simelane-Zulu.

“When incidents such as these occur, you really start to ask yourself questions. How can you tell if a call is about a real emergency? And what will happen if we stop responding to emergency calls at night altogether? People will die because this is an essential service,” she added.

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Two paramedics on patrol in the Matikwe area of Durban during the early hours of Wednesday morning were subjected to a shocking ambush, where they were robbed and shot by an armed thug. In an official statement released by the KZN Health Department, they confirm that the pair met a guide...