PHOTO: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
PHOTO: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Political parties shocked by Parliamentary official's suicide

By Staff Writer Time of article published Sep 14, 2018

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Parliament - The ANC and DA have expressed shock after the shooting at Parliament left a senior official dead, believed to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier today.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the party was shocked and saddened by the incident and that it had left the whole of Parliament, including the ANC Caucus traumatised.

“This incident also raises concerns around our security systems in Parliament, in particular, how the firearm that was used got into the precinct of Parliament undetected and breached our security.

“This matter is being investigated to ensure that it does not happen again in future,” said Mthembu.

The DA’s chief whip John Steenhuisen also extended condolences to the man’s family, friends and colleagues.

“We welcome that Parliament has offered counselling to staff members.Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy and the Parliamentary family,” said Steenhuisen.

Earlier Parliament issued a statement that it was in the process of informing the family of the man.

“The incident has, obviously, caused trauma and distress among parliament's members of staff and the institution as a whole. Necessary assistance is being arranged to help them to come to terms with the tragedy,” said Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

The 57-year-old senior staffer is believed to have shot himself just after 11am on the second floor at 90 Plein Street.

Paramedics confirmed that the man had died.

The incident happened at Parliament's International Relations section.

According to insiders, he had been agitated because his contract for employment had not been renewed.

An official at Parliament has also highlighted the security breach as staffers questioned how a gun could be brought onto the precinct.

The man, from the Eastern Cape, is believed to have entered the building through the underground parking.

"Because he's a senior manager security down there is quite lax and that's possibly how he could have slipped through the gun," he said.

Another staffer said the man's manager, with whom he had a grievance, was not present at the office.

"If he had been there, there could possibly have been a bloodbath," said the worker.

Ambulances and police descended on the Parliamentary precinct, and first blocked off the entrance to 90 Plein Street which was later reopened.

His body was removed from the building several hours later.

For a suicide-related emergency, contact SADAG on 0800 567 567 or their 24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14.

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