The woman allegedly shot dead by her estranged husband during divorce proceedings in the Durban Magistrate’s Court was described as a “loving person who had her whole life ahead of her”.
Dibuseng Moss-Chiliza, 33, was sitting with her 26-year-old brother, who was identified only as G Moss, in Regional Court O on the eighth floor on Monday when her estranged husband entered the courtroom and allegedly began firing at them.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbele said at 11am the court adjourned. “Just before court was about to start, the man fired shots. Two people died at the scene. The suspect turned the gun on himself. He did not die and was rushed to hospital for medical attention,” Mbele said.
The 32-year-old man died in hospital on Monday night.
The man was a police officer employed at protection and security services in KwaMashu.
Sean Klein, a friend and colleague, said Moss-Chiliza was a mother and a loving person.
“I have just lost someone close to me and I cannot comment further. If you are going to write something, write that she had her whole life ahead of her,” Klein said.
The magistrate’s court was on lockdown on Monday after the shooting occurred during the short tea adjournment at about 11.30am.
“He walked in and fired a single gunshot aimed at the woman. Then he fired five more shots. I was there sitting a few metres from the woman. I just dropped to the floor and lay low under the benches,” said a witness who asked not to be named.
It is believed that the suspect has a 6-year-old daughter with Moss-Chiliza and had previously attempted to obtain her new physical address from her lawyer.
Soon after the incident, a man believed to be Moss-Chiliza’s boyfriend, who had been supporting her during the proceedings, returned after the short adjournment to find the bloody scene.
While officials were working on the crime scene, the man punched a glass panel with both hands. Paramedics and police managed to restrain him and wrapped his hands in bandages.
The emotional man was then escorted by paramedics to an ambulance for treatment.
Mbhele confirmed that the divorce matter before the court was between Moss-Chiliza and the shooter.
The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said on Monday it would review its policies around off-duty police officers carrying their firearms.
The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Michael Masutha has instructed that the justice department institute an official investigation into the incident.
He said the incident was “complicated” by the fact that the suspect was a member of the SAPS who the court security officials neither knew was an affected party in a case nor had any reasonable grounds to suspect that he would be a perpetrator.