Shootout: Court gets medical report

2019-10-09 06:02

A MEDICAL report detailing their gunshot wounds was submitted yesterday in an inquest hearing into the deaths of five suspected robbers in Hilton two years ago.

The men — Sthabiso Ngcobo (19), Thokozani Njabulo Khanyile (31), Thuso Lebohang Kuali (26), Siyabonga Siphesihle Mfeka (24) and Ntobeko Mpumelelo Mswane (29), were shot multiple times by police.

It is alleged that they were trying to escape from police in their Mercedes-Benz after committing a robbery in the Hilton area. Police claim the men opened fire at them and they retaliated. However, one of the alleged robbers who had been in the car, maintains that police opened fire without warning.

The medical report handed in yesterday was compiled by an independent forensic pathologist, Dr Segaran Ramalu Naidoo, on the request of attorney Petrus Coetzee, who is representing the families of the dead.

The report is a review of the deaths determined by Naidoo from what was recorded at the scene, in postmortem images and in postmortem reports.

Of Ngcobo, the report said he sustained five gunshot wounds — three through the trunk from the back, one through the right arm and one through the back of the head.

Khanyile was shot eight times. There were at least two wounds (one to the head and the other to the right hip/abdomen) received while he was lying on the ground from the direction of his feet.

Of Kuali, the report said that either six or eight gunshots entered his body, depending on if the two to his left arm were re-entries.

There were seven or eight gunshot wounds through Mfeka’s body. Mswane sustained six shots. The crime scene photographs show that all five men were outside their vehicle.

The inference that may be raised is that all the men were alive and able to flee for a distance before they were shot at.

It said there were no shots at “close-range or contact range”, that is, fired from 50 cm away. “It is my general view that none of the deceased had injuries that were survivable, with or without emergency treatment,” said the report. The inquest hearing has been adjourned to November.

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