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Dispute at law firm leaves four dead

A DISPUTE during a meeting between lawyers and clients ended in bloodbath in Centurion, Pretoria, yesterday.

A DISPUTE during a meeting between lawyers and clients ended in bloodbath in Centurion, Pretoria, yesterday.

Police said four people died after a dispute erupted during a meeting between four clients and two lawyers at Heppie Attorneys' office on Akkerboom Street in Zwartkop.

The gunman, 64-year-old Martin van de Venter, allegedly pulled out a 9mm pistol during the meeting and shot Pieter Erasmus, Johan Griese and a third client, who is still unidentified, before shooting himself in the head.

The man who is still to be identified, as his family has not yet been notified, died in hospital.

Pretoria police spokesman Annabel Middleton said the lawyers were not injured. She said three cases of murder were being investigated.

Middleton said there was a dispute between the parties but the motive for the killing was still unknown.

When paramedics arrived at the scene, the three men were already dead while the fourth was in a critical condition due to a gun shot wound to the head.

According to Netcare 911 spokesman Jeffrey Wicks, his condition deteriorated drastically during transit.

"He died as he was being wheeled into the Netcare Pretoria East Hospital."

Wicks said Griese and Erasmus sustained multiple gun shot wounds while Van de Venter shot himself in the head.

An employee at the law firm who refused to give her name yesterday said the directors of the firm were both in a meeting.

"Mr Du Randt and Mr Richards are in a meeting discussing today's shooting. They are meeting in Potchefstroom."

She refused to give any further details.

Hester Bezuidenhout of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces said the society had been informed of the incident by one of the attorneys from the affected firm.

She said: "The attorney promised to provide us with all the information tomorrow (today)."

Police confiscated the 9mm murder weapon.

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