Africa

South African paramedics protest against attacks on the job

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, speaks to a colleague, left, outside the emergency entrance to a hospital in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Paramedics in Western Cape province have been robbed and in a few cases assaulted 42 times so far this year, an increase of roughly 30 percent over the same period in 2015, said spokesman Robert Daniels.  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, speaks to a colleague, left, outside the emergency entrance to a hospital in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Paramedics in Western Cape province have been robbed and in a few cases assaulted 42 times so far this year, an increase of roughly 30 percent over the same period in 2015, said spokesman Robert Daniels. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, looks down at her telephone, as a man, left, collects his belongings at a hospital emergency entrance in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.  In South Africa, the job of a paramedic can be perilous.
  Uniformed paramedics marched and ambulance lights flashed during a protest this week against attacks on the emergency responders, who are sometimes targeted by criminals when they rush to treat patients in poor communities, particularly at night. One demonstrator's sign read: "Keep our medics safe!!" (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, looks down at her telephone, as a man, left, collects his belongings at a hospital emergency entrance in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. In South Africa, the job of a paramedic can be perilous. Uniformed paramedics marched and ambulance lights flashed during a protest this week against attacks on the emergency responders, who are sometimes targeted by criminals when they rush to treat patients in poor communities, particularly at night. One demonstrator's sign read: "Keep our medics safe!!" (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, looks down at her telephone at the emergency entrance to a hospital in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.  In South Africa, the job of a paramedic can be perilous.
  Uniformed paramedics marched and ambulance lights flashed during a protest this week against attacks on the emergency responders, who are sometimes targeted by criminals when they rush to treat patients in poor communities, particularly at night. One demonstrator's sign read: "Keep our medics safe!!"  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

    In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, a paramedic, center, looks down at her telephone at the emergency entrance to a hospital in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. In South Africa, the job of a paramedic can be perilous. Uniformed paramedics marched and ambulance lights flashed during a protest this week against attacks on the emergency responders, who are sometimes targeted by criminals when they rush to treat patients in poor communities, particularly at night. One demonstrator's sign read: "Keep our medics safe!!" (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)  (The Associated Press)

Uniformed paramedics marched and ambulance lights flashed during a South African protest against attacks on emergency responders, who are sometimes targeted by criminals when they rush to treat patients in poor communities.

Spokesman Robert Daniels said Thursday that paramedics in Western Cape province have been robbed and in a few cases assaulted 42 times so far this year. That's an increase of roughly 30 percent over the same period in 2015.

Daniels, who attended the protest Wednesday in the Cape Town area, says thieves sometimes rob paramedics of wallets, cell phones and other belongings while patients are in their vehicles.

He says one paramedic was stabbed with a broken bottle.

Attacks on paramedics have occurred elsewhere in South Africa, which has a high rate of violent crime.