Traffic cop shoots motorist in back at crash scene

2011-05-20 00:00

“A LIFE isn’t worth anything to them. He shot the man dead and just left him lying there.”

This was the reaction of Gerrit van Heerden of Middelburg, Mpumalanga, after he saw a traffic officer shoot a motorist at an accident scene on Wednesday night.

The officer shot Majika Gadebe (36) in the back, in full view of several police and traffic officers, emergency personnel and bystanders.

Gadebe died at the scene and the officer allegedly simply reholstered his pistol and went to stand with his colleagues next to his vehicle, Van Heerden said.

Describing the accident, Van Heerden said a coal truck he owns overturned earlier in the evening in Bethal. He went to the scene, where coal, oil and diesel covered the road and as a result, traffic police had to closed the road.

A motorist tried to get past behind the truck and was apparently stopped by a female traffic officer.

Van Heerden said the driver and the traffic officer exchanged words. “The man got out of his car and ran towards her. The next moment, a shot rang out,” he said.

The motorist was shot in the back and collapsed. “No one did anything to help the vicitim,” he added.

He said he and other bystanders moved away, afraid they would also be shot.

A fireman went over to the fallen man and checked his pulse and confirmed he was dead.

“I cannot believe they have so little respect for a life,” Van Heerden said.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said a charge of murder is being investigated, and the traffic officer was arrested yesterday afternoon.

Last month, Kempton Park police officer Sergeant Manape Phineas Kgoale was arrested and refused bail after he allegedly shot dead motorist Jeannette Odendaal after she crashed into parked police vehicles outside the police station.

In 2003 Kgoale was found guilty of a firearm negligence-related offence.

Denying bail, Magistrate Eric Mhlari said, “And he went at it again. The accused cannot handle a firearm with care and the accused is most likely to use the firearm again.”

Kgoale told the court he thought Odendaal — whom he could not see clearly — was an armed hijacker.


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