Shoots in the stomach

2017-09-28 06:01

Skholiwe Mambinja, from Driftsands in Khayelitsha is accusing the Malmesbury police of failing him after he opened a case of attempted murder against his former employer, Andre Charles Verbiest.

“Verbiest was arrested on a Friday … By Monday he was already free,” says Mambjinja. Struggling to sit on a chair inside a shack in the informal settlement of Los Angeles in Driftsands, Khayelitsha, where he now lives with his cousin, the 34-year-old told GroundUp in a faint voice that Verbiest shot him with an unlicensed firearm in May.

Mambinja has a long wound down his abdomen which is oozing and another wound where the bullet entered near his shoulder blade. He walks with a bent gait and with great difficulty. He can no longer work.

“The pain is unbearable,” he says.

Medical records from Tygerberg Hospital show he was hospitalised for five weeks.

Mambinja had known Verbiest since 2006 through their work at Uitsig Animal Rescue, Fallen Angels, and Lucky Lucy Foundation.

Verbiest then formed his own make-shift animal rescue shelter, Human and Animal Welfare Koinonia (H.A.W.K.), and persuaded Mambinja to work for him.

Mambinja claims that he and other workers, three Malawians, worked without contracts or payslips. They worked long hours – from 5:30am to 10pm. He worked for Verbiest for 18 months. He was paid R6,000 per month.

On the day he was shot, he says his employer accused him of mistreating the dogs at the shelter and told him he was fired. When Mambinja asked for UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) forms and R3,500 owed in leave pay, he claims he was rudely told to move off the property by Verbiest.

An argument ensued, and then a scuffle, followed by being allegedly shot by his boss.

In February 2017, Gayl Basson, the owner of the farm in Malmesbury where Verbiest had set up H.A.W.K., evicted him after a protracted court battle that started in 2015.

Basson told GroundUp, “During the eviction court case, when I testified, I asked police to take the gun from [Verbiest] … He lied that he had destroyed it. Later on we heard he shot Mambinja with it. We hope Mambinja gets the justice he deserves.”

After the eviction, Verbiest relocated to Riverlands, outside Malmesbury. Mambinja says he continued to help Verbiest up and until the shooting.

Mambinja claims Verbiest would disappear for days, leaving him to take care of Verbiest’s disabled grandson.

V To page 7.

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