EMS staff

Mpumalanga EMS ambulance, stripped when members were held hostage on Sunday. Photo: SAPS/Facebook

Mpumalanga EMS staff members held HOSTAGE, ambulance stripped

The EMS staff members were responding to an emergency call of a woman giving birth, but little did they know it was a trap.

EMS staff

Mpumalanga EMS ambulance, stripped when members were held hostage on Sunday. Photo: SAPS/Facebook

Mpumalanga Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff members were held hostage and their ambulance stripped when they attended to a fake call of a woman giving birth at a farm in Belfast.


The shocking incident took place on Sunday evening around 21:00.

The Mpumalanga EMS received a strange call about a woman who was in labour (giving birth) at a farm near Belfast on the Spitzkop Road. 

According to Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala an ambulance, a VW Crafter was then dispatched to attend. 

He said that at around 21:30, it is said that a follow-up call was received by the paramedics whereby the caller requested to meet with the medical staff at a certain spot for the direction to the scene. 

“Little did the medical staff know that this was an orchestrated robbery which was paraded as an emergency call.”

Brigadier Mohlala said.


As the ambulance arrived at the place mentioned by the caller, two males wearing balaclavas covering their faces, emerged. 

“The suspects allegedly held them hostage and took their cell phones from them before they tied them up with cable ties but kept them inside the ambulance.

“The ambulance was reportedly driven to another place where five more suspects were noticed.”

Brigadier Mohlala said.

He further said that the suspects allegedly stripped the vehicle of its gearbox, engine, two tyres as well as a battery. 

The total estimated value of the vehicle parts stolen is about R300 000. 

The motor parts were then loaded into another vehicle and surprisingly the suspects gave the Mpumalanga EMS staff members, the cell phones taken earlier before they left the scene.

The personnel later managed to alert their supervisor and directed them to the location where they were. 


The EMS members were rescued and the incident was reported to the police in Belfast where a case of robbery was opened. 

A manhunt has since been launched for the suspects.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned the incident.

Lieutenant General Manamela has further spoken strongly against the suspects who carried out the said robbery. 

“As law enforcement officers, we will not allow a situation like this, whereby emergency workers will be hindered to carry out their duties by criminals. We will do all in our powers to bring them to book and they cannot escape the arm of the law,”  

said Lieutenant General Manamela.

Meanwhile, the police in Belfast urge the public to assist with information on the whereabouts of the suspects.

They can call the investigating officer, Captain Tobias Mogadime at 071 353 6763 or call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111. 

Alternatively, members of the community can send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

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