A 47-year-old patient was shot dead at the male surgical ward at Clairewood hospital, Durban recently.
According to the KZN Department of Health it is alleged that at about two unknown armed men stormed past hospital security guards, and proceeded to locate the man in his bed. They 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.
The patient, who is a foreign national, was being treated for previous gunshot wounds, and had been transferred from King Edward VIII Hospital to Clairwood on 23 December 2019, for wound care and rehabilitation.
It is alleged that after fatally wounding him, the suspects walked back to their vehicle and drove off.
Security guards 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.
Speaking to Drum KwaZulu-Natal MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu expressed deep concern and strong condemnation. She said they are very shocked about the incident
“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.”
She concluded by saying that the Department has offered counselling to staff and patients who witnessed the incident.
KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that a case of murder is being investigated by Montclair SAPS.
“The deceased sustained a gunshot wound to the head and the matter was reported and is still under investigation.”