hostage Verulam

A man who held a family hostage for almost six hours ended up committing suicide. Images: Reaction Unit South Africa.

Infidelity allegations lead to six-hour hostage drama and suicide

A Verulam family was held hostage for almost six hours. A man who shot a teenager and later killed himself suspected his wife of infidelity.

hostage Verulam

A man who held a family hostage for almost six hours ended up committing suicide. Images: Reaction Unit South Africa.

Allegations of infidelity have reportedly led to a 65-year-old man’s suicide during a hostage situation that lasted nearly six hours on Jacaranda Avenue in Mountview, Verulam in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Neighbours reportedly contacted private security requesting assistance after the deceased held a 68-year-old woman, her 38-year-old daughter, and 18 and 12-year-old grandson hostage. 


According to private security, Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA), they were contacted at approximately 12:46 by residents requesting assistance after a 65-year-old man entered a relative’s residence near his home and held the family hostage. 

RUSA spokesperson Prem Balram said on arrival, reaction officers learned that the gunman had shot the 18-year-old in his left hand. Officers surrounded the house and negotiated the release of the injured teenager. The man complied and allowed the male to exit the house. RUSA paramedics treated him for a gunshot wound at a safe location while the area remained locked down. 

Balram said the hostage taker alleged that he suspected his wife of having an extramarital affair. He believed that the 38-year-old female hostage had knowledge of the relationship and was in support of the alleged affair. 

“The unemployed truck driver requested that his wife be transported to the scene and allowed to enter the home. Law enforcement agencies denied his request because they believed he intended to shoot her. It was confirmed that the suspect did not own a licensed firearm,” he said.

hostage Verulam
Neighbours gathered outside the house on Jacaranda Avenue. Image: Reaction Unit South Africa.

A hostage negotiator from the South African Police Service attempted to de-escalate the situation. At the same time, members of the SAPS Special Task Force (STF) took up tactical positions around the home. At approximately 18:12, SAPS Officials breached the front door. Officials found the body of the suspect in a bedroom. He sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. 

“RUSA Medics examined the male who was declared deceased at 18:19. According to one of the victims, the suspect spoke to his wife telephonically before he proceeded into the bedroom. They heard a gunshot shortly after that. The three hostages were traumatised. No further injuries were reported.”

Prem Balram

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