South African prison warder allegedly shot his friend dead before turning the gun on himself at a tavern in Barberton on Sunday 4 April 2021.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli confirmed the news of the tragedy in a statement.

According to Mdhluli, the correctional services official was in possession of his private firearm at a liquor outlet when the incident happened.

The victim was identified by his family as Chris Mkhonto and the prison warder was identified as Ralph Hlophe. The two were both certified dead at the scene by Paramedics, TimesLIVE reported.

The motive for the shooting remains unknown but murder case was opened, as well as an inquest docket.

A probe is under way to also look at how a firearm was permitted at the liquor outlet and whether the business was operating in contravention of lockdown regulations.

Police have condemned the shooting and expressed concern on how some members of the public, including certain owners of liquor outlets continue to undermine the laws that have been made to prevent the loss of lives.

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