‘I thought I was being hijacked’

2013-02-14 00:00

POLICEWOMAN Hlengiwe Mkhize (31), who is charged with shooting dead a teenage motorist last July, says she fired two shots in response to what had sounded to her like a gunshot going off in her vicinity.

Mkhize told the high court yesterday she’d feared she was being hijacked when the incident took place following a collision on the Bulwer main road.

She said the victim, Mlindeli Clement Ngcobo (18), was “mistakenly” shot in his vehicle when she opened fire. “I did not intend to hurt anyone,” she said.

The shooting occurred after she and Ngcobo had both alighted from their vehicles to converse about the collision. Ngcobo was back in his car when the shooting happened.

Under cross-examination by state advocate Andre Ludick, she described Ngcobo’s manner towards her at the scene as arrogant and cheeky, and said he spoke in a “violent” way.

She said he had ignored her, picked up a number plate from the ground and returned to his car.

When she tried to tell him that this was “not the way to do things”, he replied by saying: “Call the police if you want to.”

She denied that she had shot him in anger.

Mkhize said she was afraid that she was going to be hijacked when Ngcobo’s Citi Golf rear-ended her car, and another vehicle in front of her stopped ahead.

She was also “shocked” as a result of the accident.

Mkhize said it was her intention to drive to a police station after Ngcobo returned to his car, but after hearing what had sounded like a gunshot go off nearby, she drew her own firearm from her handbag.

“I thought that the gunshot was fired so that I would be scared, bearing in mind that I already had this thing in my mind that I was being hijacked,” she said.

Mkhize said she had fired two shots “to warn them not to come closer, if that was what they were planning to do”.

In reply to questions by Ludick, Mkhize agreed that she did not know where the alleged gunshot came from, and she had not seen anyone approach her in a threatening manner.

She had also not seen Ngcobo carrying any weapon.

In response to Ludick’s proposition that in fact there was no gunshot, she replied: “But I heard it”.

The case will continue tomorrow.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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