Nhlalakahle: Msunduzi security official says he shot rioters in self-defence

2013-05-31 00:00

AN Msunduzi security official charged with murder and attempted murder over a shooting at Nhlakahle informal settlement said in an affidavit he had fired at an advancing crowd of rioters in self-defence on the day.

Emmanuel Maphumulo (29) of Willowfountain appeared briefly in the magistrate’s court yesterday charged with the murder of Sifiso Shabalala and attempted murder of Alfred Khanyile on May 28.

Magistrate Ashin Singh released Maphumulo on warning pending his next court appearance on July 9.

The state did not oppose Maphumulo’s release.

In an affidavit before court, Maphumulo said he has been employed by Msunduzi Municipality for over six years. He is a member of a special operations task team that specialises in “security challenges” in informal settlements in the city.

On Tuesday he was part of a team which was assigned to ensure the safety of electricians working in the Nhlalakahle settlement who were removing illegal electricity supply connections.

He said the illegal connections had caused power outages over several days and posed a serious risk to the residents because they involved bare wires carrying “massive voltages” that were a hazard to the public.

Maphumulo said the previous Thursday a riot had broken out in the area during which his team and members of the Public Order Policing Unit were stoned and pelted with bottles.

On Tuesday, he said, a large crowd began advancing on the electricians while they were working, blocking off the road so that there was no exit available and “screaming death threats and hurling missiles at us”.

He said that despite orders to stop, the mob continued to advance.

“We were in fear of our lives,” said Maphumulo.

He said he heard the sound of two shots and believed they were under fire from the crowd.

“I discharged my firearm as a last resort in self-defence.”

When he fired he did so in order to protect his own life and those of colleagues, he said.

Maphumulo said in his affidavit that he has been diagnosed by a doctor this week to be suffering from “severe stress anxiety disorder”.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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