Police have arrested a 36-year-old suspect for allegedly smashing windows at the Constitutional Court with a hammer.
Police responded to reports of the man breaking the windows of the Constitutional Court buildings in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Wednesday morning.
Police fired a warning shot after the suspect continued to break the windows after being ordered to stop.
“He has been charged with malicious damage to property and is expected to appear in court in due course,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, has strongly condemned the attack.
“Any person who attacks the Constitutional Court – or any other of our democratic institutions for that matter – is attacking democracy and what it represents,” said Lamola.
“The site of the Constitutional Court is a historical landmark as it represents our struggle for freedom. It was specifically designed to reflect the values of our new constitutional democracy and Nelson Mandela himself called the building ‘a beacon of light, a symbol of hope and celebration,’ Lamola added.
Alarmed social media users speculated if this was another assault on justice in the country, following the fire at Parliament on Sunday that raged for two days.
“Seems like we are in seriously engineered crisis. One thing I know, ordinary South Africans are too poor to afford such,” posted @Babeswerand on Twitter.
“Will the president rush to the court like he did when Parliament was on fire? Or does his overreach only extend to the legislature and not to the judiciary? Side note: he should bring a homeless person to blame for the shooting,” mused @TrevorMiltonhof
“Where is the intelligence of this country?” said @sigubude.