Alex killer cop was a troubled man - colleagues

2015-06-04 20:10
(File, Shutterstock)

(File, Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - The court orderly who shot and killed his girlfriend, the girlfriend's uncle, their neighbour, as well as another police officer, had been removed from his post in the SA Police Service because he "had problems".

Constable Ronnie Masie's colleagues at the Alexandra Magistrate's Court said he had been moved from the police station to the court just two months ago.

"It is common for the SA Police Service to shift police officers who have problems to the court," said an official who spoke to News24 on the condition of anonymity.

The problems that came with such officers included domestic violence, alcohol abuse and financial problems.  

The official said some of Masie's colleagues felt that he had been failed by the SAPS.

"He was moved to the court and not offered any help through the EAP [Employee Assistant Programme]," said the official.

While it was not known what sort of problems Masie had, his colleague said they could see he was a ticking time-bomb. As such, they were not surprised when they learned Masie was involved in the shooting.

Rude at times

General workers around the court described him as a man who spoke off the cuff, and who at times was rude.

Masie shot and killed his victims at the Alexandra police station on Wednesday evening before he was gunned down as he was about to enter the home of another girlfriend.

It was understood that Masie, who no longer owned a gun, had reported for duty on Wednesday morning.

It was a day like any other and after knocking off, he went to see his girlfriend, Sowela Anna Nkuna, at a block of flats in Alexandra.

The two have a 3-year-old daughter together.

It was alleged that the couple was involved in a squabble which resulted in Nkuna threatening to lay a charge against Masie.

Signed out an official police firearm

Masie was alleged to have then left, and headed to the police station where he signed out an official police firearm.

According to the official, court orderlies were allowed to assist the police when they were not on duty at the court.

Nkuna then headed to the police station with her 59-year-old neighbour Stephina Semenya.

Nkuna's uncle, Ezekila Mapayi, told News24 that his niece called his brother Mathews to join them at the station. Nkuna was already there with Semenya. 

When Matthews arrived, the three relayed what had happened to Major Thomas Moetlo, who called them into the charge office.

As Masie was already there, he was asked to join them in the office.

Pulled out his gun and opened fire

As talks continued in the charge office, Masie allegedly pulled out his gun and opened fire, killing the four people in the office with him.

The official said: "He then stashed the gun and walked out. As he walked out of the office, other officers came and said they had heard gunshots. He said he too had heard them and was going to inspect."

Masie was alleged to have then left the police station where he caught a taxi to the house of the other girlfriend.

An earlier statement from police said Masie had shot at two other police officers at the station before fleeing.

It was unclear which version was true.

The police's tactical response team was dispatched and they caught up with Masie as he disembarked from a taxi at the house of the other girlfriend.

It was alleged that Masie opened fire when he saw the police.

They fired back and Masie was killed.

'I am extremely hurt'

On Thursday, the families of the Masie's victims found it difficult to speak.

"Anna's father has arrived and we are busy with preparations for her funeral and Mathews' funeral," said Ezekiel Mapaya.

"What happened has really hurt me. I am extremely hurt," he said.

Asked what type of relationship he had with his niece's boyfriend, he said it was a civil one.

"I knew he was short-tempered. So was I. That's why I only ever greeted him. We never really spoke," he said.

Some of Anna's relatives spoke to journalists at her flat. They described her as a good person.

"She never had a problem with anyone," they said.

They claimed that she had reported Masie to police a few times.

They were determined to get answers.

"How does a person shoot people at a police station and still get away?" they said.

Lietenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini did not respond to News24 queries on why the officer had allegedly been moved from the police station to the court.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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