JMPD cops arrested after fatal shooting at vigil

2015-09-18 07:24

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Johannesburg - Two Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers have been arrested in connection with the murder of a 28-year-old man from Meadowlands in Soweto.

The shooting occurred on Friday, September 11 during a night vigil held for MK cadres in the area.

According to sources, there was random shooting in the air during the vigil and Themba Neo Maluleka was shot in the back.

Maluleka’s sister Dineo said he had received a call from friends to come to the vigil.

“Hardly five minutes after arriving, he heard gunshots and told his friends he did not want to be there as it was not safe. He decided to go. As he was walking to the car, that is when he got shot from the back and he fell,” she said.

Allegedly shot with service pistol

Dineo told News24 that witnesses on the scene informed the family that her brother was shot by a traffic officer who was not even part of the night vigil. The officer, who was allegedly off duty, is said to have shot Maluleka with his service pistol.

“He was not even wearing a uniform. The traffic cop then said he would hand himself over to police following the incident, but he did not," she added.

A doctor who examined Maluleka when he arrived at the hospital told the family that the gunshot wound did not appear to have come from a stray bullet, but seemed to have been fired from close range.

"Following the incident, we went to Meadowlands police station to open a case and officers went to the scene to and found 18 cartridges on the floor. They said they would take them to Pretoria to check which of the bullets had killed him,” she said.

Dineo was frustrated with the manner in which police were handling the matter. She said whenever the family went to the police station to get information regarding the investigations, they were always told to come back the following day.

The family had only been informed about the arrests of the two officers after a News24 query about the matter.

Appearing in court on Friday

Police spokesperson Captain Nomvula Mbense confirmed that two male JMPD officers aged 24 and 29 were arrested in connection with the shooting. She said they were arrested on Wednesday through tip-offs.

“They... have been detained at Meadowlands SAPS cells. They will appear in [the] Protea Magistrate's Court on September [18],” she said.

JMPD spokesperson Superintendent Edna Mamonyane also confirmed the arrests.

She said the armoury division had received information that two officers were arrested for murder and they visited the scene to ascertain what had happened.

“They found that there was a night vigil and there was random shooting by a lot of people. They said when they left, they heard someone had died. As a department we will let the law take its course and for the process to go on.

"We will carry on with our internal investigations as well to find out if indeed it was our officers or just their guns that were used," she said.

Mamonyane said investigations were currently in the early stages but they would also keep a close eye on the SA Police Service investigation.

Read more on:    jmpd  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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