‘I saw him attack my mum’

2015-06-07 18:21
Patrick Moetlo. Picture: Supplied

Patrick Moetlo. Picture: Supplied

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Barbra Nkuna is both glad and devastated. The 21-year-old from Alexandra in Johannesburg is happy because she escaped almost certain death this week, but she is distraught because her mother, Anna Nkuna, wasn’t so lucky.

Anna (40) was gunned down by her policeman partner, Constable Ronnie Masie, in the Alexandra Police Station, along with their neighbour Stephina Semenya (52), Anna’s uncle Mathews Mapaya (39) and policeman Major Thomas Moetlo (59), on Wednesday evening.

Nkuna, an administrator at Forest Town School, was opening a case of domestic violence against Masie (37) when he opened fire. He also tried to shoot two other officers.

Masie was later shot by police in a standoff.

However, his death is scant consolation for Barbra, who saw Masie viciously assault her mother just an hour before he shot her dead.

“I saw him attack my mother – and then he killed her,” the distraught young woman told City Press.

Barbra – who now has to look after her two siblings, an 11-year-old and a three-year-old – recalled how her sister had come outside to tell her their mother was calling her to make dinner.

But when she arrived home, she “heard screams and shouts, my mother was crying for help”.

“I wasn’t even aware that Ronnie was in the house.

“He grabbed my mother by her gown and pulled her on to the glass table in the lounge. I was devastated to see my mother bleeding and helpless. I thought she was dying,” she said.

Barbra said they tried to fight Masie off, but he overpowered them.

He only fled when their neighbour, Semenya, who lived above them, came to their aid after hearing their screams.

“But even when he was outside, he kept on shouting and swearing at everyone. He was aggressive and angry.

“My mother was shaking and she asked Mama Semenya, my sister and me to accompany her to lay charges of domestic violence at the police station.

“I told my mother to leave my sister and me behind ... If my sister and I had decided to go with them, we could have been dead,” she said as her eyes filled up with tears.

Sources said Masie, who had a history of abuse, had two wives. One lived in Tzaneen in Limpopo and the other in the Far West Bank in Alexandra.

Nkuna and Masie had been together for five years.

Masie fled after shooting the four people in the police station, forcing his colleagues from the tactical response team to give chase. When Masie fired on them, they shot him dead in the street next to Nkuna’s apartment.

According to Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, Masie got hold of the firearm he used in the shooting by telling colleagues he was about to transport inmates to prison.

He denied claims that Masie had broken into the police safe at the client service centre.

Dlamini also denied claims that Masie had a history of domestic violence.

“We heard the allegations that he had violent tendencies at home, but I’m not aware of any domestic violence cases that were opened against him at the police station,” he said.

But Barbra told City Press that it wasn’t the first time Masie had attacked her mother. “It is not a secret that my mother was in an abusive relationship. She’d been warned by family and close friends that if she didn’t leave Masie, he was going to kill her,” she said.

Neighbours, who asked not be named, confirmed to City Press that Masie had abused Nkuna.

Barbra said: “My mother had opened several cases [against Masie] at the Alexandra Police Station, but he was never arrested. I’m not sure if it was because he was a cop or if my mother dropped the charges every time she opened a case.

“I never liked Ronnie. Look what he has done. Life is not going to be the same without my mother.”

Meanwhile, policeman Moetlo’s distraught older brother, Patrick Moetlo, recalled his last conversation with his brother: “The last time I spoke to my brother was at 5.30pm – a few minutes before he died. He told me he was going to visit me in Pretoria the next weekend. Little did I know that I was speaking to him for the last time.”

He said Moetlo’s killing had shocked the family. “We thought the police station was a safe place. My brother’s death has left us with a lot of questions,” he said.

He said his brother was planning to retire next year.

Moetlo is survived by a wife, three daughters and two sons.


Read more on:    alexandra  |  domestic violence

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