A 28-year-old man was killed by an unknown suspect while being treated for a stab wound at the All Saints Hospital in Ngcobo, Eastern Cape police said on Sunday.
The incident happened on Sunday morning around 03:00, spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni said.
"It is alleged that the deceased was at casualty section of the hospital waiting to be stitched on his stab wounds, when an unknown man came and stabbed him to death," Mdleleni said.
Mdleleni said officers were following leads.
According to Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, while doctors were busy attending to the victim, "a knife wielding man [barged] in and said he wanted to finish the patient off".
"There were 10 guards deployed in various points of the hospital, but the man forced his way through casualty security by withdrawing a knife.
"The doctor and nurses ran for their lives, while the security guards could not prevent the man from stabbing the patient to death," Kupelo said.
The suspect fled the scene before the police arrived on scene, he said, adding that staff members who witnessed the stabbing incident would receive trauma counselling.
Kupelo said security measures were being reviewed at the hospital.
Police appealed to anyone who could assist with information that could lead to an arrest to contact Lieutenant Colonel Matolweni on 0823027484.
In a separate incident, Kupelo said a vigilant Tyeks security guard managed to "sneak behind a man who had [pulled] a gun from a police officer at the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital".
"The man is suspected to be mentally ill. The security guard deserves praise for his bravery as he swiftly acted and stopped the man before he could shoot.
"Our facilities are under siege with thugs seemingly targeting them as they know our hospitals and clinics are gun free zones. Lawlessness cannot be tolerated."