A lone gunman, who held 21 people -- including three children -- hostage after seizing the Israeli Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrendered 30 minutes before his own deadline on Tuesday morning (29 April).
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Background: A lone gunman, who held 21 people -- including three children -- hostage after seizing the Israeli Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrendered 30 minutes before his own deadline on Tuesday morning (29 April).
The gunman -- identified as David Protter, who worked as a security officer in the Consulate -- began his one-man take-over as the staff arrived for work. He demanded to be flown to Israel.
The hostages, however, said he wanted to broadcast pro-Palestinian statements on South African Radio and that his views be transmitted immediately to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
During the 21-hour siege, two consulate officials were killed and four of the hostages wounded. In addition, two passers-by were killed and more than 30 injured by bursts of wild small-arms fire when he announced the seizure.
Throughout his negotiations with the police and the Israeli Ambassador Yitzhak Unna, the gunman changed his voice and manner of speech to create the impression that there was a group of them.
Police initially believed there were six guerrillas. However, they realised that they were dealing with one person, six hours before he surrendered -- but for the safety of the hostages they kept up his pretence, as troops and marksmen were set to storm the building.
Protter armed himself with three revolvers, two light machine-guns and grenades. The 24-year-old South African was said to have "some political axe to grind". The South African Minster of Police, James Kruger, said in Cape Town that he would probably be charged with murder.