Hostage drama at KZN hospital
A woman wounded while being held hostage by a former patient at Westville Hospital in Durban is in a stable condition following an operation for her gunshot wounds, the hospital said.
“She sustained a gunshot wound to the back and three to the foot.
“She went into surgery [Sunday]. The wounds were cleaned up and her toes were attended to by an orthopaedic surgeon,” said hospital spokeswoman Leanne Nyiri.
Three people — a nurse, a security guard, and a catering staff member — sustained minor injuries from bullet fragments and were all doing well, said Nyiri.
The 30-year-old gunman, thought to have suffered from a bi-polar disorder, had hijacked a taxi in Mariannhill on Friday morning.
He forced the driver to take him to the hospital, police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said at the time.
He walked into the hospital at 7.40am demanding to see a doctor or nurse.
Naicker said he became impatient and opened fire resulting in panicked hospital staff, patients, and visitors ducking for cover.
The man first took a hospital receptionist hostage but she escaped.
He then took a second hostage and kept her in the kitchen.
A huge police contingent, including police snipers, were deployed to the hospital.
When negotiations with the man failed, police moved in and shot him dead.
Meanwhile, the Witness newspaper reported on Monday that his girlfriend said he had his firearm licence renewed in 2008.
“Generally, a person who has been diagnosed with any medical condition will not be issued with a licence as they are unfit to possess a firearm,” police spokeswoman Lieutenant Joey Jeevan told the newspaper.
It did happen that people were diagnosed with medical conditions after being granted a licence, she said.
If police were informed that a person granted a licence had been diagnosed with a medical condition, an inquiry would be held to determine whether they would be a danger to themselves or others.
Jeevan said if found unfit, they would then lose their licence, reported the newspaper.