Are members of the legal fraternity well protected when it comes to covering high-profile cases?
According to the Department of Justice, extra safety protocols are in place to protect legal counsels. However, on Sunday, May 16, the Magistrate who was overseeing the case involving alleged crime boss Nafiz Modack was shot in the buttocks while waiting at a carwash in Mfuleni.
It is alleged Magistrate Abram Mashala was in Taurmaline Street in the Bardale Informal Settlement when assailants opened fire, killing a female police officer and wounding her three-year-old grandson in the process.
According to IOL, for the past five years, five legal officers have either been wounded or killed, in Cape Town. Mashala is not the first presiding officer overseeing a high-profile case that has been shot.
High-profile criminal lawyer, Noorudien Hassan, who represented the likes of alleged 28 gang boss, Ralph Stanfield, was shot and killed in front of his home in Lansdowne in November 2016.
Another incident that rocked the legal fraternity was that of Advocate Pete Mihalik, who was and killed in October 2018.
Mihalik was dropping off his children at a school in Green Point. His alleged attackers are currently carrying out pre-trial conditions at the Cape High Court.
Advocate Vernon Jantjies who presided as a magistrate at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court was killed outside a garage in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain in December 2019. His murder was never solved.
Well, known advocate William Booth survived an assassination attempt in April 2020, when gunmen opened fire on him outside his house.