Two patients held staff members of the Protea South clinic in Soweto, Johannesburg, hostage on Thursday, after they were told the facility was closed.
They demanded to be assisted although the clinic had already closed, City of Johannesburg Health and Social Development MMC Mpho Phalatse said.
Phalatse said the healthcare facility offered primary services between 07:30 and 16:00, from Monday to Friday, and worked in conjunction with a community health centre (CHC), Chiawelo Clinic, which offered 24-hour health care services.
However, on Thursday, six staff members had remained at the clinic after 16:00, waiting for an ambulance to transfer a patient to a nearby hospital. This was when the two patients walked in at 16:10 and demanded assistance.
"As it was already past the official operational time, the staff referred the two patients to Chiawelo CHC across the road, or to come back the next day. This request was declined and the six staff members were held hostage in the facility," she said.
She said the staff had later decided to help the patients, but reported the incident to the police. No one was injured during the incident.
"I wish to put it on record that, on behalf of the City of Johannesburg, we condemn these criminal acts and that our JMPD will take decisive action to address these criminal actions.
"To this end, I have demanded that a thorough investigation of individuals who are implicated in these criminal acts be taken to task by law enforcement agencies as this will not be tolerated," Phalatse said.