Thieves target clinics

Date: 10 Jan 2019

HEALTH facilities in the City of Joburg are under attack from brazen criminals as more and more clinics continue to fall victim to break-ins – the third in the past month.

In the latest incident, Lenasia South Civic Centre Clinic was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday.

According to the ward councillor Vinay Choonie, the armed unit responded to an alarm around 2am. When they arrived at the scene, one of the three guards who were on duty told them it was a false alarm and everything was fine. As a result, the armed response unit left.

The burglars gained entry to the building by removing glass from the window frames. They then proceeded to dig a hole in one of the walls and broke the burglar doors. Among the stolen items were 10 computers – five from the clinic, two from the sports and recreation office and three from the library, as well as a microwave from the councillor’s office.

Choonie said the break-in at the centre would impact on service delivery. For now, patients have been redirected to the Lenasia South Community Health Centre. Police are investigating the incident.

MMC for Health Mpho Phalatse also strongly condemned the incident.

“Every act of vandalism in our healthcare facilities is a direct attack on our freedom to exercise these rights. We will be partnering with the city’s Group Forensic Investigation Services Unit to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended,” Phalatse said.

Last week, the Claremont Clinic was burgled by a group of men who only managed to get away with two fire extinguishers.

A week before, the City of Joburg Health Department was forced to destroy vaccines following yet another criminal act where electrical cables were stolen at Westbury Clinic that resulted in power failure.

By Anna Cox - anna.cox@inl.co.za   @annacox

For more info see: http://www.iol.co.za/the-star