Thursday, 24 January 2013
Irate police haul paramedic to van
Wallace du Plessis and Bevan Lakay, News24
Cape Town - An altercation at the scene of an accident near Franschoek where a vehicle transporting sheep overturned, has resulted in a paramedic being manhandled into a police van.
Garth van Zyl, from Medicare EMR, was arrested on Tuesday for obstructing police in carrying out their duties after, at the request of the fire chief, he helped to secure the scene.
"The fire chief asked a member of the police to park his van in the lane in which the rescue was taking place. The accident scene was between two blind corners, the most dangerous being the corner uphill of the accident," Van Zyl said.
It is alleged the police officer refused to because he had damaged a police vehicle previously and is being held responsible for the costs of repair.
When Van Zyl's co-worker remonstrated with the officer he swore at the medics telling them to "fokkof".
The police officer then left the scene of the accident to fetch a colleague at the Franschhoek police station, claims Van Zyl, who then assisted with securing the scene.
When the two police officers returned to the scene they arrested the paramedic and forcibly marched him to their van.
On a video taken at the scene, Van Zyl can be heard voicing concern about his broken leg at which point they threaten to use "necessary force" and lock him up in the back of the vehicle.
At this point the fire chief again pleads with the police to help with traffic control and making the scene of the accident safe for the rescue teams to work, but the officers were more interested in "sorting this guy [Van Zyl] out", as he was "disturbing them".
A second police van eventually comes to the fire chief's assistance.
Various attempts to obtain comment from police proved fruitless.