KZN Health MEC condemns fatal shooting at Clairwood Hospital; calls for an urgent re-evaluation of security protocols

11 January 2020

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has expressed deep concern and strong condemnation of the execution-style fatal shooting style of a patient in the male surgical ward of Clairwood Hospital yesterday evening.

It is alleged that at about 18h30 yesterday, two unknown armed men stormed past hospital security guards, and proceeded to locate the man in his bed, and shot him in the head at point blank range, in full view of other patients and hospital staff.

The suspects also forced their way out of the hospital by pointing guns at the hospital security guards.

By that time, security guards had tried to close the main hospital gate. But the assailants threatened to shoot them, and then proceeded to force open the gate themselves, before fleeing from the scene.

The matter was immediately reported to the SAPS, who have begun an investigation.

Reacting to the incident, MEC Simelane-Zulu said: “Firstly, we send our condolences to the family of the deceased. We are obviously shocked at this brazen display of violence right inside a healthcare facility. It is a flagrant disregard for the law, and a display of the ruthlessness of the criminal element in our society."

“Although it is not always possible to predict an incident of this nature, which appears well-planned, the fact that these perpetrators were able to escape without getting apprehended by security or law enforcement does call into question our preparedness as a Department to react effectively to such acts.

“It means that our system is not as effective as we would have liked to think. Notwithstanding the fact that these people were armed, and that they also threatened our security guards, we should have had a system in place that ought to have made it difficult for them to get away. We will have to urgently re-look at our security protocols and make improvements as far as possible, within our limited financial means.”

The Department has offered counselling to staff and patients who witnessed the incident.

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This page last edited on 13 January, 2020

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