The National Prosecuting (NPA) says the two people shot and killed outside the Randburg Magistrates Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning were state witnesses who were on their way to testify in a trial involving four police officers.
The pair were due to take the stand in a 2018 assault GBH trial involving the four police officers. The involvement of the officers in the double murder is not yet known, however, the state has succeeded in its urgent application to the court for the four officers to be bodily examined for possible traces of gunpowder and for their firearms and mobile phones to be handed over to the investigating officer.
The defence opposed the application but was overruled. The NPA has welcomed the decision.
NPA Spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwana says, “We can confirm as the NPA that there was a double murder scene. where two of our witnesses were allegedly gunned down. We immediately had to secure the necessary evidence that’s why we brought an urgent application before the court in terms of section C of the Criminal Procedure Act. With the main purpose of securing evidence in this preliminary investigation.”
Two shot dead near Randburg Magistrates Court
The court has granted an application to seize the firearms and mobile phones of four police officers and compelled them to undergo gunshot residue tests.
The main complainant was fatally shot alongside her husband outside the court at around 7 am on Wednesday.
This prompted the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to bring an urgent application to force the officers, who are on trial for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to cooperate with investigations.
Two victims reported to have been walking towards the Randburg Magistrates Court were approached by unknown gunmen who opened fire. They were certified dead on the scene.
The suspects are reported to have fled the scene in a black Mercedes Benz.
State Prosecutor Yusuf Baba says, “It is an application. They are not implicated, it is to secure the evidence. Which can either strengthen the case or exonerate them.”
A lengthy application for the protection of information soon followed when an investigator argued that everyone was a suspect.
Gauteng Detectives, Lt Colonel, Andile Mankayi says, “The scene outside is still active… and the information is being collected. It has become vital for the investigation to deal with everyone that is concerned in this case.”
However, the defence argued that the state does not have sufficient evidence to link the four police officers to the shooting.
The matter has been postponed until the 23rd of this month.