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Chaos, blood and a high-speed chase as injured gangsters force their way into EC hospital

Chaos, blood and a high-speed chase as injured gangsters force their way into EC hospital
An ambulance outside Livingstone Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

A group of badly injured men, allegedly shot while standing on the back of a bakkie while they were returning from a funeral, forced their way into the Livingstone Hospital casualty unit around noon on Saturday in what even the battle-weary medical personnel described as 'a scary scene'.

The Eastern Cape’s busiest and biggest casualty unit went into lockdown on Saturday afternoon after a bakkie full of bloodied and shot young men arrived at the unit having forced their way into the hospital to look for help. 

“The situation is under control,” Eastern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said by 3pm on Saturday. Earlier, a group of alleged gang members who were shot while riding on the back of a bakkie had forced their way into Livingstone Hospital for treatment.

The incident was initially reported as a shooting at the hospital, but Kupelo said there were no shots fired. He said the high-speed chase and the trail of blood left by the badly injured patients had caused much alarm at the unit.

“What caused alarm was that the bakkie arrived at a very high speed at the hospital and was being followed by the police,” he said.

Community members said the blue bakkie was earlier seen at the St Michael Church in Schauderville, near the hospital, where a funeral was taking place.

One eyewitness at the hospital described the scene as follows: 

“Just before I left the hospital around noon, a 4×4 bakkie with no canopy, full of youngsters at the back, came to casualty at a very high speed. Three of them had sustained gunshot wounds. They were shot while at the back of the bakkie in Schauderville on the way back from a funeral. 

“When they entered the hospital, the police followed them and are still there. Three of the patients were badly affected – two had gunshots to the head and one was shot in the leg.

“The incident created a scary scene in casualty as everyone ran for cover and screamed for help. The situation is currently under control, and casualty staff remained calm and managed the situation very well,” the witness said.

While it was initially reported that the men were shot in the casualty unit, Kupelo said they did not believe the men came to the hospital to carry on the shooting. He said they came for help, and the situation was being managed by both health personnel and the police. 

“They were not armed because they were not ready for a fight as they came from a funeral,” he said. 

The hospital went on lockdown on Saturday afternoon.

“The doors are closed, visitors are not allowed, but relatives coming to drop things are allowed, quickly escorted in and out,” he said. “The police are monitoring the situation.”

Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said detectives were investigating a case of attempted murder.

“It is alleged that at approximately 11:30, the victims were in a Ford Ranger, double cab, and as they approached Jameson and Wild streets in Schauderville, suspects fired multiple shots at the occupants. The driver sped off. He was shot in the right lower leg, while two other occupants also sustained gunshot wounds. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.”

While the motive of the shooting is unclear, some were saying it is linked to gang activity.

Nelson Mandela Bay has been in the grip of gang warfare in recent months.

Official trauma statistics from the Livingstone Hospital casualty unit show that it had treated patients from 35 shooting incidents in the first 28 days of December. Another resident from Schauderville said gang conflict and shootings had flared up again in the past two weeks.

Despite a successful motion by the Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape legislature, the Community Safety MEC, Xolile Nqatha, has not yet convened a crime and safety summit in Nelson Mandela Bay to curb ongoing gang violence.

Read more in Daily Maverick: In the heart of Eastern Cape’s deadly gang warfare, a job ‘opportunity centre’ builds hope

The summit was meant to include the SAPS, NMB Safety and Security, Provincial Safety and Security, the Hawks, Crime Intelligence, Ipid, Correctional Services, National Prosecuting Authority, and neighbourhood watch groups, patrols, CPFs, councillors, church leaders as well as NGOs and NPOs working in the northern areas of Gqeberha.

Last year, 180 people were killed in gang shootings in Nelson Mandela Bay. Twenty-two of them were children. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Matthew Quinton says:

    Lucky for the 2 shot in the head no vital organs were injured.

  • Gareth Dickens says:

    The lesson of history is loudly clear. From the ghettoes of Tel Aviv and the council estates of London. From the slums of Mumbai and Beijing to the boroughs of New York. From the townships of Cairo and Dar es Salaam to Alex, Soweto and Lavender Hill, Mannenberg etc……..
    When you have a large cohort of somewhat tenuously parented boys growing up in fatherless homes – you are going to have chaos.
    Paternal neglect and absence are this country’s principal domestic problem. Not the ANC or municipal governance as the doomsday peddlers routinely profer.
    The “social wage” (60% of our national budget) is devoted to pacifying the symptoms of dysfunctional families – free education including meals & learner transport, RDP housing, health care, social grants, policing (excluding the 2.7 million registered security guards of which 590,000 are actively deployed – outnumbering the SAPS by 4 to 1)

    The progenitor, was offcoarse Arpartheid’s catastrophic social engineering that located labour far from home dislocating men from communities; rendering fathers truant and most women domestics – the mothers of 2 families often at the expense if their own offspring.

    Do this over a generation or two and you get what we have – a civil war. A nation at war with its own sons. The Nats were truly evil!

  • Gareth Dickens says:

    In recent times, the reproductive behaviour of women is exacerbating the problem. The sexual liberation of girls in particular and other feminist dogma have emasculated those Fathers who may be present. The fact is when fathers have less authority over their daughters, the girls tend to become the play things of men. Over 60% of new births last year were registered without paternity – effectively condemning society to more trouble.

    Gangs are nothing more that surrogate families. Boys will always gender. Without fathers or accountability to a man, they are inclined to unruly and dangerous gendering

    • Louise Roderick says:

      What a horrible sexist comment. I wonder who thought it was acceptable.
      These girls/women did not become pregnant by divine intervention. Perhaps when boys/men learn to keep their trousers zipped the situation might improve.
      Comments like yours are just appalling in this day and age.

      • Gareth Dickens says:

        Sexist? No ma’am eh to the contrary I’m just very concerned……Women have used this lame excuse to avoid accountability for their female collective. “Day and age” does not the truth negate.

        Fundamental truth never changes: men control access to relationships and marriage. Women control access to sex and reproduction. Yes ma’am! We may wear the trouser but women control the zipper! Outside rape or sexual abuse, no woman/girl in this “day & age” can plausibly claim involuntary maternity. Male and female contraception is free – widely available at the point of need – thanks to our taxes. Yet, 65% of all births in SA are unintended. Add to that over 500k abortions annually.

        These women/girls are choosing both unprotected sex and pregnancy (then subsequently raising children and heading homes as single parents)

        • Michael Thomlinson says:

          One fact you have not taken into account are the grants.
          I think it is around R400.00 per child and for a single mother R1200.00. So 6 kids plus the parent grant will give you around R3600.00 per month. Maybe not enough to live on but it will buy a lot of booze at the end of the month. The sad thing is that I personally know of “families” doing this. ie keep making more babies and that equals more money.

      • Wayne Holt says:

        So the girls are not at least a 50 percent contribution to the problem? Just asking

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