Brazen murder of Clairwood Hospital patient was like 'a movie scene'
Durban - Pandemonium broke out at the Clairwood Hospital after two gunmen brazenly walked into a male surgical ward and allegedly shot a patient during visiting hours on Friday evening.
The incident left both patients and staff traumatised. A nurse who was on duty told the Sunday Tribune that the deceased had covered himself with a blanket.
“The tragic incident happened so fast. We had two shots being fired at a close range. It was like watching a movie scene. He was shot twice in the head. His bed linen was soaked in blood,” she said.
She said after shooting one of the suspects tucked a gun in his pants before exiting the ward to a car in the parking lot.
She said the men had not covered their faces as they walked to the victim's bed.
When security guards attempted to stop the car at the main gate, suspects threatened to shoot them. The nurse said the deceased man was a Nigerian.
The victim was treated for gun wounds after he was shot in the abdomen last month. It is alleged that hitmen were hired to finish him off.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the motive for the killing is not known at this stage and a case of murder is being investigated.
“Two armed suspects entered the hospital in Clairwood and fatally shot a 47-year-old patient. He sustained a gunshot wound to the head,” said Gwala.
PSA provincial manager Mlungisi Ndlovu who visited the scene said he demanded a thorough investigation. He said patients were terrified.
“We are very concerned about the state of security in hospitals because public facilities are regarded as gun-free zones,” said Ndlovu.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) provincial secretary Mandla Shabangu said the department of health needed to take stock of the pathetic security in public hospitals.
"Health officials need to account for this mess. Security is a total disaster in hospitals. People enter without being searched. We are bound to see more accidents of this nature if this is not addressed thoroughly,” he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has expressed deep concern and strong condemnation of the execution-style murder of the patient.
"We send our condolences to the family of the deceased. We are shocked at this brazen display of violence right inside a healthcare facility. It is a flagrant disregard for the law, and ruthlessness of the criminal element in our society,” she said.
The department has offered counselling to staff and patients who witnessed the incident.