The New Somerset Hospital shooting last month was a stirring incident for South Africa. Three were killed. One of them was a police officer, Constable Donay Phillips, who was guarding a patient.
The man accused of pulling the trigger, Jean-Paul Malgas, was a patient himself. He was also a former police officer stationed at Hopefield more than a decade ago. Malgas worked for the SAPS for years according to his lawyer, however, his reasons for leaving remain foggy.
Now that Malgas’s case has rolled back onto the docket as of today, 30 June, many South Africans have the same question. If Malgas is guilty, why would a former law-enforcement officer commit these crimes?
Here’s what we know:
- Malgas is a father of four from Vredenberg
- It’s believed that he’s been unemployed since he left the police force in 2007
- Malgas was admitted as a patient to New Somerset because he was allegedly involved in a stabbing incident in Vredenberg. IOL reports that he suffered a gunshot wound. Police are believed to have fired the shot after Malgas allegedly attacked them.
- He is also believed to have been suicidal and suffers from severe depression, as EWN records.
- A nurse, Sister Diane Seale, was the unsung hero who helped calm the suspect down with kidness and understanding, and he allowed her to sedate him thereafter.
- Malgas has declined to make bail applications
The accused’s charges are hefty. He faces three charges of murder, illegal firearm possession and illegal possession of ammunition as well as robbery, as per Eric Ntabazalila of the National Prosecuting Authority.