Premier and Health Minister visit Ceres as province mourns loss of 2 EMS officer
On 18 September 2022, the Department of Health and Wellness was shaken by the tragic news of a fatal road accident involving an ambulance and a truck. Two on-duty paramedics, Ms Thani Magalakanqa (32 years) and Mr Mario Vergotine (30 years), died following a collision with a truck on the R43 on the Ceres-Wolseley Road, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Premier Alan Winde and Minister Nomafrench Mbombo paid an emotional visit to the Ceres Emergency Medical Services (EMS) station today (19 September) to issue the condolences of the Western Cape Government to the families and colleagues of those lost. Premier Winde said: “The loss of these officers is tragic. They were exceptional people, who had dedicated their lives to helping others, and now they are gone too soon. Our hearts are extremely sore at their passing, and we extend our deepest sympathy to their loved ones, family, friends, and colleagues”.
“I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of two of our EMS paramedics who died while on duty. This is an immense loss to the Department and their families,” said Minister Mbombo.
Minister Mbombo continued: “In trauma situations, the first contact a patient has with the health service, is that of a paramedic. They are the health professionals that will humble you in terms of how they engage with patients at their most vulnerable. So, when we lose them, it is a tragic loss not only to their loved ones and their colleagues, but the community at large. This tragic incident has taken the lives of our own. It is with a heavy heart that I am reminded that it is with the strength of fellow paramedics and colleagues that we reach out to each other for support during this difficult time. On this day, I would like to honour and thank Thani Magalakanqa and Mario Vergotine for putting their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. We thank them for their commitment and dedicated service. They have left a legacy that will live on beyond their years”.
Premier Alan Winde concluded: “Each and every one of our health care workers is very dear to us given the important work they do, often under difficult circumstances. Ms Magalakanqa and Mr Vergotine will be remembered by their colleagues, their friends and family, and by us all.”