Prison warder kills friend then shoots self

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A correctional services warder fatally shot his friend before turning the gun on himself at a tavern on Sunday.

According to the Mpumalanga police, the deceased are said to have been friends who were at a tavern in Barberton together.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli said the two men have already been identified by their families as Ralph Hlophe, who was a prison warder, and Chris Mkhonto.

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“Police management in Mpumalanga have strongly condemned a shooting incident which unfortunately claimed the lives of two men, aged 40. The shocking incident is said to have occurred at a tavern in Barberton earlier today, Sunday 4 April 2021, where a firearm was also found at the scene next to one of the men.

“According to information, a group of people were at a certain tavern in Barberton, including an official working for the department of correctional services who was with his friend. It is said that the official was in possession of his private firearm at the time. He then allegedly shot his friend before turning the gun on himself,” said Mdhluli.

Mdhluli said the deceased were found lying in a pool of blood with the official’s private firearm next to him.

“A case of murder was opened and an inquest is also being investigated as well to probe the deaths. The motive for the shooting is unknown at this stage,” said Mdhluli.

-Sowetan


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