A lawyer has died after she was hit by a bullet when a gun, which was being used in court as evidence, went off by accident in KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa, police say.

Adelaide Ferreira-Watt succumbed to her wounds just hours after the bullet from the shotgun hit her in the hip.

The gun went off as it was being presented to the court as evidence in a house robbery case.

Police say they are investigating Ms Ferreira-Watt’s death as a case of manslaughter.

They will also look into why the gun was loaded and whether appropriate steps had been taken to ensure the gun was safe to carry in a public space.