Soweto teen shot seven times, says aunt

2012-07-30 21:55
Thato Mokoka's mother and grandmother (File, Sapa)

Thato Mokoka's mother and grandmother (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A Soweto teenager shot dead, allegedly by a student police constable, was hit by seven bullets, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Monday.

"It was a continuous, long shot. It made a 'trrrrr' sound," his aunt Mpumi Mokoka told the court, later adding that she counted seven shots.

Sipho Mbatha is accused of killing Thato Mokoka, 16, outside his grandmother's house on February 14.

Asked how she could have counted the shots, Winnie Mokoka replied that her uncle, who washed Thato's body at the mortuary, had also counted seven bullets.

Mokoka testified that a group of police officers came knocking at her door the night of the shooting. They suspected Thato was a member of a gang called the BWA, and that he owned a firearm.

They were accompanied by two women and two boys who had apparently complained about the teenager.

Mokoka said she had pointed towards a shack.

Punched in the face


"The police then went to the shack, knocked several times before pushing in the door. A girl came running out and she stood next to me. There were other people in the shack still."

She told the court that the police entered the shack and she heard screams. When Thato emerged, a police officer punched him in the face.

Mokoka said Thato told the police he knew nothing about a gun. A woman who was with the police said Thato had a gun and people were tired of him.

Mokoka testified that a policeman held Thato down with his foot on his neck and a gun over him.

Other officers continued to search the shack. Suddenly, several gunshots were fired and it became clear Thato had been hit.

Mokoka could not identify Mbatha as the one who pulled the trigger.

Members of the Mokoka family cried while she testified.

Mbatha has claimed a gun went off when he bent over to search Mokoka.

Judge Kathleen Satchwell has approved an application by the media to record certain parts of the trial.

The case continues.

- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  sipho mbatha  |  thato mokoka  |  soweto  |  police brutality
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