Cop in dock over road rage shooting

2014-11-06 00:00

SHOOTING victim Kavlin Naidoo’s mother collapsed in shock at Grey’s Hospital yesterday when she heard a policeman had been arrested for shooting her son, and been released on bail.

The suspect, Sergeant Thobelani Khuzwayo — who is based at the Family Violence, Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) — was granted bail of R2 000. He appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court in connection with a charge of attempted murder. The state did not oppose his release on bail.

The 27-year-old IT specialist yesterday remained in a critical condition in the ICU at Grey’s after being shot in the stomach in what was described as a “road rage” incident.

He is on life support.

The Witness was told that Khuzwayo surrendered himself to the arresting officer at Loop Street police station yesterday morning.

Khuzwayo was allegedly driving a state vehicle and allegedly used his service pistol to shoot Naidoo on Sunday night. While witnesses including Naidoo’s fiancee, Sandhani Padayachee and his brother, Davelin maintain the shooting was unprovoked, it is understood that Khuzwayo, who has served more than 10 years in the police service, is claiming he acted in self-defence.

His colleagues were reportedly shocked to hear of his arrest.

A source said he was known as a good and hard-working policeman.

The 37-year-old from Imbali township was reportedly on “stand-by duty” when the incident happened.

There is a dispute about whether he had passengers in his vehicle at the time.

Naidoo’s father, Dev said the family is still devastated by the shooting. He expressed shock that Khuzwayo was given bail and said the family wants justice to be done. “My wife collapsed and got sick immediately when I told her he was granted bail. We are all taking this very badly,” said Naidoo.

“His [Khuzwayo’s] job is to serve and protect the people of this country. It is strange that he got bail. This is unfair. The justice system is failing us.”

Despite being in court when Khuzwayo appeared, the Naidoo family said they did not realise who he was at the time. It is understood that Khuzwayo was immediately served with notice that he is to be suspended from work pending the outcome of the case, but this could not be confirmed last night by police spokesperson Thulani Zwane, who said Khuzwayo’s official firearm had been taken away and would be sent for tests.

Khuzwayo has to report to a police station weekly while on bail. He is due to appear in court on December 22.

The DA spokesperson on police, ­Dianne Kohler-Barnard, said the policeman has a right to bail and he has to appear in court to answer to the charges.

“I would suspend him from work, but that is the Provincial Commissioner’s call in the final analysis,” she said.

Kohler-Barnard said according to the latest annual report by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, there were 710 criminal cases involving members of the KZN police service in 2013/14.

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