Security guards at the Durban Magistrates Court allowed the gunman to enter the building because he showed them his South African Police Services (SAPS) identity card.
SAPS Spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, says the officer responsible for the shooting at Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 26 November 2018 used his police identity card to get his firearm past security.
According to a report by The South African, the guards at the front desk were simply following “protocol” when they allowed the 32-year-old gunman to make his way to the O regional courtroom with a firearm.
The shooter is said to have re-entered the courtroom after a disagreement during divorce court proceedings. He then fired multiple shots, killing his wife and brother-in-law before shooting himself.
According to East Coast Radio, the gunman, who was stationed in KwaMashu outside of Durban, succumbed to his injuries in hospital last night on Monday, 26 November 2018.
Spokesperson for the ministry of justice, Mukoni Ratshitanga said the security guards were not to blame for the incident.
“One can understand how a police officer – whether on or off-duty – would be allowed in court premises with a firearm,” Ratshitanga said. Ratshitanga added that it was clear that security at local courts had to improve. “Obviously, the policing needs to be tightened somewhat,” he said.
Mbhele told East Coast Radio that an inquest docket had been opened. She said the trauma counselling would be offered to the witnesses who were still traumatised by the incident.