Heads roll following Alex police station shooting

2015-06-10 20:42
(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

(File, Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba has suspended three police officers at the Alexandra police station after one policeman unlawfully obtained a gun and shot and killed his girlfriend, her uncle, their neighbour and another police officer at the station last week. 

Tweets posted on the official SA Police Service Twitter page on Wednesday read:"#sapsHQ #AlexShooting - The member was not supposed to have been in possession of a firearm. As a result, 3 people have been suspended." 

Another tweet, which was a quote of Mothiba, read: "... We are concerned about this incident. The preliminary investigation shows that when the firearm was taken away in March 2015, there was no disciplinary inquiry and there was no inquiry to see if he was fit to possess a firearm. #AlexShooting" 

Last week, News24 reported that Constable Ronnie Masie, who was positioned at the Alexandra Magistrate's Court had been shifted from the local police station to the court two months ago after his superiors at the station learnt that he had "problems". 

'Obtained the gun under false pretenses'

Masie was also stripped of his official gun when he was moved, but his former colleagues at the police station had given him the gun last week which he had then used to carry out the killings.

SAPS tweeted that Masie had obtained the gun under false pretenses, but it seemed there had also been some administrative flaws on how he got hold of it. 

"#sapsHQ #AlexShooting - WO at the CSC gave him the firearm without following procedures. Const's firearm has been taken from him in Mrch," SAPS tweeted. 

A court official who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity last week said it was understood that Masie had had a fight with his girlfriend, Sowela Anna Nkuna, who threatened to open a case against him. 

Masie was alleged to have then left his girlfriend's flat and headed to the police station where he signed out an official police firearm, telling his colleagues that he wanted to carry out some official police duties. 

Pulled out his gun and opened fire

Shortly thereafter, Nkuna arrived at the same police station accompanied by her 59-year-old neighbour, Stephina Semenya.

Nkuna reportedly called her uncle Mathews to join them.

When Mathews 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. Behind the closed door of the charge office, Masie was alleged to have pulled out his gun and opened fire, killing all four of the people in the office with him. 

The official who spoke to News24 said: "[Masie] 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 another girlfriend.

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

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

They fired back and Masie was killed.

History of violence

SAPS confirmed that Masie had a string of girlfriends and they were aware that he had a history of violence.

The police claimed they had referred him to get help in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013, he was admitted to the Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, where he underwent 21 days of anger management counselling.

Masie was again referred for psychological help in March 2015.

SAPS tweets indicated that "it was always a challenge [to get him into counselling]."

According to police, Masie had "lacked discipline & acted aggressively towards his superiors".

Read more on:    saps  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  police

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