‘Muggers came at me,’ says soldier of shooting

2014-03-06 00:00

A SOLDIER with the South African National Defence Force yesterday said he shot two men, killing one, after they tried to mug him in the city centre.

Mhlengi Wiseman Maphumulo, speaking outside the Durban Magistrate’s Court after he had been granted R1 500 bail, said he had not been the victim of a hijacking as originally reported by police.

Maphumulo, a military officer in Durban, was charged with murder and attempted murder after he shot and killed a vagrant and injured two others in Mahatma Gandhi (Point) Road in Durban on Sunday evening.

One wounded man was taken to Addington Hospital while the third fled the scene and had not reported the incident to police.

Magistrate Siyanda Mlaba postponed the matter to April 10 for further investigation.

Maphumulo said he had been returning to the Manhattan Flats, where he resides, when he had been accosted by three men.

“They tried to rob me and I was caught in an awkward position so I fired shots in the air, but the three charged at me.

“Had I not shot at them I would have been injured or even dead. They were aggressive,” he said.

His lawyer, advocate Thobani Khuzwayo, said they could not divulge more information.

“I can tell you that my client is pleading not guilty to the charges,” he said.

State prosecutor Blackie Swart told the court that another charge might be added to the two charges.

This is in reference to the third person who has not been located by the investigator.

SANDF spokesperson Xolani Mabanga said they were investigating.

On Tuesday he said the military investigation would look at why Maphumulo was in the area.

They would also investigate if Maphumulo was on duty or if he had been returning home from duty when the incident occurred.

Mabanga had said once these questions were answered they would be able to draw a conclusion and then the technicalities of the matter could be dealt with by the legal experts.

On Tuesday when The Witness visited Manhattan Flats, students who live in the apartment block said they had heard a commotion on the street and this was followed by several shots.

When they investigated they saw two men lying on the ground.

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