South African police have confirmed that a male suspect has been arrested for breaking glass windows and doors at the country’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in Johannesburg. The iconic venue, which serves as the highest court in the land, was vandalised extensively on Wednesday.
The shock scenes come just days after Parliament in Cape Town was set alight, and a suspect arrested. The motivations behind this attack on ConCourt are yet to be established, but this incident has unfolded at a highly sensitive time for South Africa.
At first, it was believed that bullets were fired into the chambers. This has since been dismissed by law enforcement officials, and they have confirmed the assailant’s weapon of choice was actually a hammer. Thankfully, there are no human casualties to report at this time.
Police ended up firing a warning shot before arresting the perpetrator.
The Johannesburg-based courthouse serves as an indisputable symbol of South Africa’s democratic history. Judges Matter, a collection of legal experts in South Africa, have described the attack on ConCourt as ‘outrageous’ – and they are hoping a swift prosecution will follow the arrest:
“Although it’s not clear at this stage whether this relates to the release of the report of the Zondo Commission into State Capture (high level corruption during Jacob Zuma’s presidency), it is nevertheless gravely worrying . Judges Matter condemns this outrageous attack on the Constitutional Court building as a symbol of our judiciary and constitutional democracy.”