Media statement: FEDUSA welcomes the sentencing of Matome Sepesu who committed crimes against EMS workers.  

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the sentencing of Matome Tumi Sepesu, who kidnapped and assaulted paramedics. Sepesu was sentenced to 15 years of direct imprisonment for kidnapping and assaulting a crew of paramedics in Pretoria last year.

Welcoming the arrest, FEDUSA reiterates that the safety of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers should be prioritized in all provinces. FEDUSA has no tolerance for any criminal acts against EMS workers and calls for harsher sentences for criminals who commit crimes against essential workers.

It is appalling that EMS workers are under attack by the communities they serve. How long will these essential workers be subjected to these kinds of working conditions by criminals? The protest by EMS workers in Nelson Mandela Bay outside the City Hall, two weeks ago, calling for safer working conditions, was a call for action to government and stakeholders on issues faced by the workers.

The crimes committed against EMS workers negatively affect communities and the quality of work EMS provides to the masses.

Therefore, FEDUSA calls on the government to urgently prioritise and intervene in resolving the unsafe working conditions our members are subjected to. Our members need to be assured of their safety when attending to patients in different communities.