WATCH | 'Drunk' medic gets dressed down for using ambulance as taxi

09 January 2018 - 13:22 By Petru Saal And Kgaugelo Masweneng

Video posted to YouTube by OFM Videos

An emergency medical services official ostensibly caught red-handed using an ambulance as a taxi in the Free State is facing a double whammy – a disciplinary hearing and criminal charges.

The basic life support medic was reprimanded by taxi operators during a confrontation that was recorded on video at Wepener station in Mangaung.

In the video‚ there appear to be civilian “passengers” seated in the ambulance holding their cellphones as the furore unfolds.

Free State health department spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said on Tuesday that the official was on duty when the video was recorded at the end of last week.

“He is an employee of the department of health‚” he said.

The man was immediately suspended and will face an internal disciplinary hearing.

Mvambi said the medic‚ who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when the video was recorded‚ was arrested but later released on bail.

“He will have a chance to state his case. If you are taken to the disciplinary hearing‚ there is no prejudice. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It normally takes seven to 14 working days before a person is called in to appear. But it is still the first weeks of January. People are still returning to work‚” said Mvambi.

The medic‚ in his green uniform‚ appears to be inattentive in the video as he is being scolded by taxi operators.

“Hey man‚ why are you loading these passengers? Is it your job or ours as taxis [as taxi drivers]‚” he is asked.

“Our job is to load passengers‚ yours is to load patients. There is nothing special about you. I can see even when we speak to you that you even don’t get it. Give the passengers their money back so that you may be able to leave. And while you are at it teach them where to get taxis [next time].”

People can be heard in the video claiming: “He is drunk. A case must be opened against him. This shows he is used to this.”

Mvambi told OFM news in an earlier interview: “We learnt that he indeed was giving illegal lifts to people and extorting money out of them when he was on duty‚ which is an offence on its own. Then we learnt also that the police managed to arrest him because he was also (allegedly) under the influence of alcohol on duty.”

Free State police were not immediately available to elaborate on the status of charges against the official.