No arrests after Eastern Cape hospital shooting

2016-12-18 15:38
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East London - No arrests have been made yet after a suspected robber who was recovering in the Frere Hospital was shot and killed in his ward by two unknown men, Eastern Cape police said on Sunday.

"We are still doing the investigation," spokesperson Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala told News24.

"We are asking members of the public... to come forward to give information," she said.

The murdered patient was a suspect in a robbery at the Oriental Plaza in East London earlier this week.

"He was apparently shot at by a security guard when trying to flee," Eastern Cape Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo told News24.

The man was then admitted to Frere Hospital under police guard.

Subsequently, "on Thursday afternoon two men went to the hospital. They were noticed by nurses," he said.

However, when the nurses tried to alert security, the men went into the ward, overpowered the police guard and shot the patient dead.

The men then fled the scene.

Kupelo said that the blame for the incident lay only with the "thugs who target hospitals and turn them into gun battles".

He said it was important that the health department liaised with the police and correctional services departments to ensure effective measures were put in place when suspects were brought in for medical treatment.

"We are spending millions for private security to ensure the safety of patients and workers," he said.

Kupelo said there had been two similar incidents in the province.  In December 2010, in Livingstone Hospital an inmate was being escorted by a warder when he went to the bathroom and retrieved a gun left for him there. He then killed the guard.

In February 2005, a woman was shot in the head, while in her hospital bed in Rietvlei.

At the time, Kupelo told Sapa that there were unconfirmed reports that the 68-year-old woman might have been a witness in a court case.

Read more on:    east london  |  crime

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