Police management condemns shooting incident which claimed two lives

NELSPRUIT - Police management in Mpumalanga have strongly condemned a shooting incident which unfortunately claimed the lives of two men, aged 40 respectively. The shocking incident is said to have occurred at a tavern in Barberton earlier today, Sunday 04 April 2021, where a firearm was also found at the scene next to one of the men.

According to information, today a group of people were at a certain tavern in Barberton, including an official working for the Department of Correctional Services who was with his friend. It is said that the official was in possession of his private firearm at the time. He then allegedly shot his friend before turning the gun on himself. Police as well as the paramedics were notified about the incident and upon arrival, the two were certified dead by the medical personnel at the scene.

A case of murder was opened and an inquest is also being investigated as well to probe the deaths. The two men have already been identified by their families as Ralph Hlophe who was a prison warder and Chris Mkhonto. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this stage.

The management of police in the province is very much concerned about the disregard of Disaster Management Regulations by some members of the public, including certain owners of liquor outlets who continue to undermine the law that have been made to prevent loss of lives.

A probe is underway to also look at how a firearm was permitted at the said liquor outlet as well as circumstances surrounding the tavern being opened during the time when the incident occurred. Drastic actions will definitely be taken against those who will be found to have violated the regulations without fear or favour.

Source: South African Police Service