A prominent South African barrister, senior state advocate Addelaid Ferreira-Watt, 51, has been shot and killed in court after a gun presented as evidence in the trial went off, at the Ixopo Regional Court.
An ambulance rushed to the scene. She was taken to the hospital, where she died. The weapon was brought to court to be entered as evidence in a house robbery. The firearm struck advocate Watt in her left thigh. She is thought to have died from blood loss from her femoral artery. The incident is now being treated as culpable homicide by the South African Police Service, as the shotgun should not have been entered as evidence while still fully loaded.
Addelaid and her daughter
“Physical exhibits rarely have to be brought to court; reports and photographs of them are quite sufficient and stolen items are not required to be presented,” William Booth, a barrister, said commenting facts. Police in KwaZulu-Natal are investigating. Addelaid’s Facebook page was flooded with tributes from loved ones. The victim was from the capital Pretoria and had a daughter, Lindsay, who is engaged to be married. A survey estimates that there are 5,351,000 firearms in civilian possession in the country. South Africa also ranks 12th in the world for the number of recorded fatalities attributed to guns.