Traffic cop to plead not guilty to shooting wife

2010-06-14 00:00

TRAFFIC officer Lebohang Justice Molefe (32), who is charged with attempting to murder his wife, Londeka, by shooting her on April 29, told a magistrate on Friday that he intends pleading not guilty to the charge.

The state alleges that Molefe shot his wife several times in the face and head at the couple’s Oribi home, causing her serious injuries. He allegedly fled the scene, but later handed himself over to police.

He was subsequently hospitalised, allegedly for depression.

Applying for bail before magistrate N.M. Ndawonde, Molefe declined to elaborate on his defence or give evidence in relation to the merits of the case, but confirmed that he will plead not guilty.

The state is opposing his release on bail.

Molefe dismissed fears by the prosecution that he will go after his wife and shoot her if he is released on bail. He confirmed that he has a number of places to stay other than the home he shared with his wife and two daughters, aged 10 and six, in Oribi.

Molefe, who is a member of the Road Traffic Inspectorate, said he was based in Pinetown at the time of the incident. He is confident he will be able to return to work if he is granted bail, he said.

He also denied he had tried to escape from the magistrate’s court cells following a previous court appearance, saying he was left behind because he was in a separate cell from other awaiting-trial prisoners as the smoke in the communal cells had affected his sinus condition.

Molefe said he married his wife during 2005, but the marriage was “not peaceful” and they fought continually. In 2007, he “chased her” away from home in Dundee and told her to go back to her parental home.

After she left him, a domestic violence protection order was served on him. However, when they got back together, she apologised and told him she had obtained the order “in anger”, he said.

Molefe said he and his wife approached the court to cancel the protection order, but the authorities wanted to charge her for “lying”, and to avoid that, he suggested to her they should leave it in place.

Replying to a question by his counsel, advocate Martin Krog, Molefe confirmed that police investigating officer Piet van Zanten tried to serve another protection order against him at court on Friday, but said he “knows nothing” about that order.

The bail application will continue on June 18.

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