Hospital gunman to be buried today

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The funeral of 38-year-old Bongani Shange, who was shot dead at the Life Westville Hospital last Friday, takes place at a community church in Hammarsdale today.

His family will lay him to rest, but it may take years for them to forget the events which led to his loss.

Shange was shot dead by police after he held workers hostage at the hospital and demanded medication for his bipolar condition.

After holding a taxi driver at gunpoint, forcing him to take him to the hospital, he arrived at Life Westville and went on a shooting spree.

During the rampage he wounded three people, two of whom he had taken as hostages.

Thabile Shangase, 26, who was released by Shange during the hostage drama, was treated for gunshot wounds to her arms and legs, and is recovering well.

Khulile Mngadi, 30, underwent surgery for injuries to her back and foot and is also recovering well.

Security guard Bongani Buthelezi, who was shot in the left leg at the start of the drama, has been discharged from hospital.

Talking to our sister paper, Isolezwe, the deceased’s father, Smangaliso Shange, said the police and the hospital management had showed no sympathy towards them as a family after his son was shot dead by police officers.

“You could have sworn that it was an animal that had just been killed,” he said.

Smangaliso Shange said that his son should not have been shot dead.

Bongani’s brother, Musa Shange, agreed.

“We still cannot believe it because he was not a violent person at all,” he said.

He said Bongani’s bipolar condition had started four years ago but had never been out of control.

He continued normally with his work as a maths teacher and occasionally took breaks when recommended by the doctor to do so.

“The longest break he took was a month,” he said. “Bongani was a bookworm and kept to himself, he never liked to argue.”

Musa Shange said life at home would not be the same without his brother. “He was a breadwinner at home,” he said.

Bongani Shange was the second-born child in his family. He is survived by his parents, his older brother, Sibonelo, and younger brother, Musa. He also had a one-year-old child.


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