Wrongfully shot man opens case

2017-12-20 06:01
PHOTO: makhosandile zuluLucas Phungula in the room in which he was allegedly shot by a police officer.

PHOTO: makhosandile zuluLucas Phungula in the room in which he was allegedly shot by a police officer.

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LUCAS Phungula from Georgetown in the Khosela area says he wants the officer who allegedly shot him to be punished so justice can be served.

According to the 41-year-old, the alleged shooting on his left arm by a Plessislaer SAPS officer happened on November 16 at around 11pm.

Phungula has since opened a case of attempted murder at the police station.

KZN SAPS spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that investigations are ongoing and the motive for Phungula’s shooting is unknown.

Phungula said he was in the room he rents from the Ndlela family when there was loud knocking on his door.

“When I asked who was there I was told it was the police. I could see flashlights through the window,” Phungula said.

He said the door was then kicked open and a flashlight shone in his face, before being shot.

Phungula said he was bleeding profusely and asked why he had been shot.

“One of the policemen stepped into the room to attend to the bullet wound.

“He tied a belt just above the wound so the bleeding could stop, then he called an ambulance,” he said.

Phungala said during the 20-minute wait for the ambulance officers allegedly broke some windows.

When the ambulance finally arrived he was taken to Edendale Hospital in leg cuffs and under police guard.

“At the hospital four police officers asked me for the keys to my room because I had asked one of the paramedics, who came with the ambulance, to lock it. But I told them to ask my landlord to open up for them.”

He said he was told the police officers returned to his room and broke into it so, he thought, they could remove the bullet casing.

Phungula said throughout his hospitalisation and until his discharge on Monday November 20 he remained under police guard.

“When I left the hospital the police took me to the police station where I was held in a cell from 4pm until the next morning.

“I was also told I would attend court the next morning [Tuesday],” he said.

However, he said on Tuesday he was told he would not attend court.

“An investigator then told me he had been told I had fought with the police, but I told him that was not true. He then took my statement and told me I could go home,” Phungula said.

He said the hospitalisation cost him his job and he now has to go to the clinic every day for check-ups.

His sister Hlezephi Phungula, a neighbour of his landlord, said she heard the police officers arrive on the night of the incident.

“When I heard the gunshot I ran outside to see what was happening. Then I heard my brother call my name and when I asked what was happening he said it was the police,” she said.

Hlezephi said she was told by the police to go back to her house.

Phungula’s landlord, Sduduze Ndlela (63), said once Phungula had been taken to hospital the officers allegedly went into his house, pointed a firearm at him and asked where he was hiding illegal firearms.

“One of the policemen asked my grandchild where I was hiding the illegal firearms,” Ndlela said.

Plessislaer SAPS spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela confirmed that Phungula was arrested for “attempting to grab a police officer’s firearm”, but the charges were withdrawn.

He could not say if Phungula was ever taken to court.

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