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Friday, July 12, 2024

Bail for Hilton 10111 staff, tow trucker and private ambulance owner

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Nine clerks employed at the SAPS call centre in Hilton, a Department of Health official, a tow truck operator and a private ambulance service owner were on Monday granted R1 000 bail each.

Their arrests followed a two-year police investigation.

The clerks are: Kevin Pillay, Giesela Willigh, Asokan Moodley, Siyabonga Makhathini, Kribben Naidoo, Generose Nkabini, Michael Mazibuko, Malusi Zulu and Ntombifikile Mchunu.

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The others are, director of the Midlands Emergency Medical Services, Mark Winterboer, the owner of Sherwin’s Towing, Lareme Sherwin Moodley, and Department of Health official Mahendra Singh. It is alleged that the clerks and Singh tipped off the ambulance service to arrive first at emergency scenes in return for payments.

The investigating officer, Andrew Brown, did not oppose them being granted bail. He said in an affidavit that a charge of racketeering may be added against the group at a later stage. He said none of them had previous or pending cases and there is no indication they may flee. Also, their residential addresses have been verified.

The bail application started in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was adjourned to Monday because it was not completed in time.

It is alleged in the charge sheet that the clerks would use their cell phones while on duty to communicate with Winterboer and/or his employees and inform them of medical emergencies and the locations.

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Winterboer or one his employees would be given this information before it was relayed to the 10777 control centre.

In doing so, Midlands obtained an unfair advantage of attending medical emergencies before any other medical emergency service. On attending these medical emergencies, Midlands paramedics would provide medical services and then claim their fee from the patient and or the Road Accident Fund or the patient’s medical aid scheme.

The matter has been adjourned to March for further investigations.

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