‘Traffic cop provoked by man he shot’

2012-06-11 00:00

A RICHMOND municipal traffic officer has received an eight-year suspended sentence with correctional supervision for killing a man who taunted and invited him to shoot.

The incident occurred at Ndaleni at 8 pm on July 26, 2008.

Regional court magistrate Rose Mog­wera found that Mthoko Mlotshwa (36) had been subjected to extreme provocation by the victim, Xolani Nxele.

According to evidence, Mlotshwa had stopped at a garage to use an air pressure hose which was then in use by Nxele. An argument broke out and according to witnesses, Nxele repeatedly assaulted Mlotshwa.

Mogwera said that according to the evidence, Nxele continued to follow Mlotshwa afterwards, taunting him to shoot him.

“He challenged the accused to a fight and this went on for a while until the accused just couldn’t take it anymore and lost his temper and obliged by shooting the deceased,” said Mogwera.

She said Mlotshwa’s behaviour was not justified and he had shown a serious lack of judgment.

“It’s plain stupid to draw your firearm and shoot someone just because he is provoking you,” she told Mlotshwa. “One hopes that you have learnt from this experience.”

She said according to a psychological report prepared by Professor Lourens Schlebusch, Mlotshwa was remorseful for his actions.

She further found that he did not have a propensity to commit violence and said she did not believe he was a danger to the public, but was in fact a productive member of society.

“I really believe if it had not been for the deceased antagonising him the accused would not be here in court today … He is not likely to re-offend,” Mogwera said.

She warned Mlotshwa, however, not to take his sentence lightly or think of it as a “slap on the wrist”.

She said a condition of the suspended sentence was that he must undergo three years of correctional supervision, throughout which time he must perform community service without remuneration and is to undergo rehabilitation programmes, including life skills and orientation, and a programme for aggressive offenders.

He also could not change his address or leave the magisterial area where he resides, without permission, and must subject himself to close monitoring.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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