Parliamentary official commits suicide at work

Outside Parliament In Cape Town.
Outside Parliament In Cape Town.
Image: AMBROSE PETERS/Sunday Times

A parliamentary official has allegedly shot himself to death at his workstation on the second floor of one of the office buildings within the legislature’s precinct.

This is according to several other parliamentary officials who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Details are still sketchy at this stage but it is understood the staff member was angry that the national legislature was not renewing his employment contract.

The entire second floor of the 90 Plein Street building has now been cordoned off as emergency services and the police are on the scene.

“We were just next door having a staff meeting and we just heard one gunshot and everybody started screaming‚” said one official.

Other staff members said this pointed to a serious security breach as nobody was allowed to enter their parliamentary offices with firearms‚ which were supposed to be declared to police officers manning the entrances to all parliamentary buildings.

“It once again exposes lax security in parliament. How do you arrive with a gun into the buildings of parliament‚” asked one official.

Parliament’s Presiding Officers said in a statement they are “shocked and saddened at the passing away this morning (14 September) of a parliamentary official who allegedly took his own life at Parliament“.

“Parliament is in the process of informing the deceased official’s family and the Presiding Officers will visit them.

“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.”

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