Parliament suicide: Garane avoided X-ray bag check to bring gun into offices

26 September 2018 - 11:37 By Andisiwe Makinana
Image: GCIS

The Department of Public Works and the police have revealed that parliament official Lennox Garane did not place his bag through an X-ray machine at one of parliamentary entrances when he arrived for work on Friday September 14.

Garane committed suicide when he shot himself in his locked office later that morning.

The police officer stationed at that entrance was served with a suspension notice the following day and is facing a disciplinary process by the police. Police found that the officer contravened the static protection standard operating procedure by allowing Garane to gain access to the building without screening the bag.

Police and public works documents presented to a joint meeting of the public works and police portfolio committees show that Garane‚ who worked at Parliament’s international relations unit‚ arrived at the 90 Plein Street building and entered the access control area at the basement.

“He showed his permit in the direction of the SAPS static protector and walked through without placing his bag through the X-ray machine‚” reads a police document.

One of Garane’s colleagues later heard a gunshot from Garane’s office. The police’s Leon Rabie said that when their static response team responded they found the door to Garane’s office locked from the inside. Through the window in the door they saw Garane sitting on a couch in the office with a wound to his head and what appeared to be a firearm on his chest.

He was declared dead on the scene.

Rabie said the police’s approach to utilise physical security measures as part of its security strategy by means of a layered approach is in line with international standards.

“The shortcoming in using physical security measures is found in the lack of implementation‚ as well as ensuring the effective working and operating of physical security equipment‚” he said.

“Without operational functioning‚ this key element cannot be counted on as part of the security strategy‚” he added.

The joint committee meeting continues.