‘Rogue’ cop investigated

2010-05-24 00:00

A POLICE officer from the Provincial Protection Services is under investigation for allegedly shooting and injuring a Pietermaritzburg man with a gun apparently stolen from another offi­cer.

The officer, Thabiso Morele (27), is apparently being investigated on three charges: attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Morele allegedly shot Lucky Mazeka (22) of the Jika Joe settlement in the neck after a dispute over a car that broke down on the road almost three weeks ago.

The bullet penetrated Mazeka’s neck and exited through his left shoulder, rendering his left arm immobile.

Another man who was at the scene said the dispute occurred after they had been asked by another man, who had been travelling with Morele, to assist and push his car.

“The car had stalled on the road and Morele and his friends had abandoned the driver there after a quarrel.

“The driver asked us to help him push the car, but before we could push the car he [Morele] started screaming obscenities at us, telling us not to push the car.

“One of the guys from the settlement commented on the insults that were screamed at us and that angered Morele and he started firing at us.”

He said Morele chased them to the settlement where he shot Mazeka. “When we fled towards the settlement, I thought he would not follow us there, but he did.”

Sources close to the investigation said the officer, who was captured by the community after the incident, is a rogue.

“We have discovered that the officer was released on bail and he jumped bail, and also the gun that he used had apparently been stolen from another officer.”

Jika Joe community leader Bheki Dladla described Morele’s actions as heinous.

“This was a bad action by the officer; we expect him to protect us,” he said.

The incident was confirmed by Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan, who said the firearm had indeed been stolen from a police officer who had been held up and robbed.

She said Morele is in custody and the police are investigating how he got the firearm.

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