After attacking a nurse and a security guard at the Zigodlo Clinic in Debenek, Eastern Cape, the thugs fled with three computers, CPUs, a photocopier, baby formula, and an immunisation refrigerator.
Before taking the items they fled with, the suspects are said to have tied and locked the security guard and the nurse inside the dispensary.
The provincial department of health said the robbery took place on Friday evening. A security guard reporting for duty at 6am released the employees who spent the night locked inside the dispensary.
The MEC for health in the Eastern Cape, Nomakhosazana Meth, denounced the assault on the clinic staff and break-in.
A case of theft and assault opened
Meth stated that the police have opened a theft and assault case and called on the police to leave no stone unturned in their investigation.
“The unknown armed assailants assaulted a nurse, a security guard, stole three computers, CPUs, a photocopy machine, infant formula, clinic committee groceries, a gas cylinder used for the immunisation fridge, a TV, cellphones, and the nurse’s clothing items,” said Meth.
She said that when the robbers forced their way inside, the doors to the nurses’ residence and the clinic were also damaged.
“It cannot be that healthcare workers and facilities are seen as easy targets. We urge the police to fast-track their investigation and ensure that those behind this crime will be brought to justice,” she said.
“The department is seriously concerned about these unwarranted attacks that are negatively affecting service delivery.”
Counselling for affected workers
The department will provide affected workers with counselling.
The incident occurred after Dora Nginza Hospital in Gqeberha had to run on generators for five days in January due to electrical cables being stolen from the facility.
Emergency medical services workers and other health professionals have recently been robbed at knife and gunpoint, and the Mabandla Clinic in Kariega, also in the province, had its fence stolen.