A seasoned investigative reporter and former colleague of many journalists in the province, Karen Venter (50), died at her home on a smallholding outside the city on Tuesday morning.
Venter was an accomplished investigative journalist who worked for both local mainstream publications, Polokwane Review and Polokwane Observer.
The Emergency Medical Services of the Department of Health reportedly refused to attend to the distress call from Venter’s life partner, Theuns Jonker after he phoned the 10177 emergency number early on Tuesday morning to have Venter transported to hospital.
It was learnt that the operator told Jonker that the reason for this was because Venter “had not been sanitised”.
Jonker then contacted ER24 for assistance, but she died shortly after their arrival on the scene.
“I was out of the house for around two-and-a-half minutes just to open the gate for the ambulance, but when I returned with the emergency personnel she had passed on,” Jonker said.
It was reported that Venter’s son, Tyrone Raffray, found her outside the bathroom on the floor at the bottom of a step early on Tuesday morning.
She seemed to have slipped and was lying in a pool of blood. According to Jonker, she was still breathing at the time.
He thanked ER24 and Avbob for their speedy assistance.
“ER24 was here within 15 minutes after I called them, and Avbob assisted the family by collecting Venter’s body within 22 minutes after they were notified.”
It is the second time in two months that EMS reportedly did not respond to a call.
In the first incident at the beginning of May, EMS officers told a family they did not have proper Personal Protective Equipment available, and would not respond to an elderly patient on the Myngenoegen smallholdings after the man had suffered a stroke.
The family had to transport the man to hospital themselves, where he later died.
Venter is survived by her mother, Valerie Bester, a sister, Adele and two sons, Damien, who lives in England, and Tyrone.
A former colleague, DA MP Lindy Wilson has taken up the matter with the Minister of Health, saying she was going to report the issue to the Human Rights Commission.
Health Spokesperson Neil Shikwambana indicated that the matter would be investigated.
Story: Nelie Erasmus