National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional court prosecutor, Lonwabo Booi, 36, was shot and killed outside the Umlazi Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, where he was due to finalise a part-heard matter.
The NPA issued a statement confirming the incident on Thursday and Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Adv. Elaine Zungu said Booi’s killing is a tragic event that must be taken very seriously by all South Africans, especially considering the fact that it happened while he was on duty.
According to a report by News24, Booi was driving alone in his car in a road outside the court when he was shot around 9am.
It is understood that the NPA prosecutor was in the process of prosecuting hitmen.
He was shot multiple times and declared dead at the scene.
The NPA called the killing an attack on the rule of law, and the dedicated colleagues who risk their lives to uphold it and conveyed their deepest condolences Booi’s family, friends and colleagues.
“He will be dearly missed. May his soul rest in peace.”
The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv. Shamila Batohi also condemned Booi’s killing.
“The increase in attacks on those fighting for justice in our country should concern all of us. We need to significantly improve the protection of criminal justice officials, whistleblowers and witnesses in South Africa. The rule of law depends on it. The future of our country depends on it. And we owe to these brave men and women. This will require a multi-stakeholder effort driven by government and time is not on our side.”
Batohi also assured all prosecutors that their safety remains an utmost priority for the authority.
To this effect, the NPA said additional security measures will be implemented on a case-by-case basis as the need arises.
“The NDPP trusts that the investigation will be prioritized and that those responsible for this horrendous crime will be brought to justice,” concluded the prosecuting authority.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho