Eastern Cape deputy speaker 'happy to be alive' after shooting incident

2015-09-29 16:32

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Durban – Eastern Cape Legislature deputy speaker Bulelwa Tunyiswa is happy to be alive after an off-duty policeman, described as "troubled", allegedly fired a shot at her official car on Friday.

"I think we were at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Tunyiswa.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Siphokazi Mawisa has confirmed Constable Andile Mhlabeni, 32, from the King William's Town Flying Squad, was arrested on Friday night and charged with attempted murder.

"He appeared in the Zwelitsha Magistrate's Court on Monday and was remanded. He will appear in court on October 9 for a bail application."

Tunyiswa was returning to King William's Town from a family engagement in Macibi Village near Mount Coke when a shot was fired at the Mercedes-Benz.

“I was being driven by my protectors at around 17:30 and from a distance I could see a man who looked like he was in distress. When we drove closer it looked like he was carrying a gun.”

Next thing they heard a shot ring out.

“He fired straight at the car and the bullet hit the right side. Thank goodness no one was sitting on that side, because they could have been injured.

“Everything happened so fast, I couldn’t believe it. Fortunately, we were approaching a tar road and the driver swung the car and accelerated.”

Tunyiswa said she panicked because her sisters were driving in the car behind her. "But thank God they were okay.”

She realised only afterwards how seriously affected she was by the incident.

“I received calls from family, friends and colleagues asking me if I was okay; some were even crying. To be honest, it has been a traumatic experience but I am just glad that no one got hurt.”

Tunyiswa said she was informed that the alleged shooter, who was arrested, was a “troubled policeman".  

“I was told that he had fired random shots in the area before he shot at us. I think there was something wrong with him,” she said.

Tunyiswa was expected to return to work on Tuesday.

Mawisa said the docket had been transferred to the Independent Police Investigations Directorate for further investigation.

Read more on:    east london  |  crime

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