Vandal shot after ‘losing it’

2010-03-11 00:00

ANOTHER mentally disturbed man ran amok in the city yesterday.

Selvon Mkhize of the Jika Joe settlement, who is described as mentally disturbed, went into the premises of Ally’s Advanced Driving School, hit a car with a steel pipe and assaulted a police officer with a brick. The policeman had to shoot him in the leg to restrain him.

An employee of the driving school, Zakhele Zuma, witnessed the incident and said Mkhize “lost his mind” after he had scolded him for wasting water.

He said Mkhize opened the water tap fully and when he told him to stop, Mkhize got angry and started hitting a car with a steel pipe.

“He started battering the car and I fled across the road because I was afraid that he would hit me as well,” said Zuma.

Mkhize smashed all the windows of the car and its lights with a steel pipe and bricks, causing damage running into thousands of rands.

Police were called, but when they arrived, said Zuma, the man threw bricks at the officers and they fled.

“A second police car was flagged down by the traffic officers. The officer approached him and fired warning shots, but Mkhize picked up a brick and attacked the officer, who then fired another shot, wounding him in the leg.”

He said that even after Mkhize had been shot, he still went for the officer with a brick and wrestled him to the ground.

Bheki Dladla, a community leader at the Jika Joe settlement, said Mkhize has also wreaked havoc in the area.

He said that for the past four weeks they have been trying to get Mkhize committed to hospital because his mental condition seems to be deteriorating.

“Before he was shot by the police, he had tried to rape a woman in the settlement and when the community approached him, he fled to the street and then to the driving school.”

Dladla said the police and Mkhize’s relatives had failed him.

“We told the police about him, but they said they do not deal with mental patients, and we contacted his family, but they never showed up to fetch him,” said Dladla.

The incident was confirmed by the police, who said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Last year, The Witness reported several incidents in which mentally disturbed people harmed others.

In August Sihle Mhlongo (20) allegedly bashed seven-month-pregnant Nompumelelo Ndlovu to death on Boom Street with an iron bar. Police eventually shot him.

Later that month, an allegedly mentally disturbed man attacked three people and stabbed a woman in Retief Street. The man reportedly ran up to the 55-year-old woman as she walked with a friend and stabbed her once before running away.

 

10111 or any police station should be contacted whenever people believe that they are in danger or are being threatened by a mentally disturbed person, says a senior police officer.

“The assertion that the police do not deal with mental patients is untrue because we deal with everything, as it is all our responsibility.”

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