Mamasela 'ran to protect his family'

2011-03-31 09:20

Johannesburg - Former apartheid hitman Joe Mamasela ran from the police for three days because he wanted to ensure his wife and child were comfortable before he went to jail, The New Age newspaper reported on Thursday.

"I was a policeman once, I know how they work those people. If I had been arrested on that day, I would have stayed in custody for three days before going to court. And where would my wife and child have been at that time," he said in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday, much to the shock of his alleged victim's family seated in the gallery.

Mamasela was testifying in the murder trial against him.

He is accused of shooting his landlord, Lali Nhlapho in Soweto, last year. He testified that he had earlier obtained an order preventing Nhlapho from evicting and intimidating him.

On the day of the shooting, he claimed Nhlapho came to the house with two men armed with guns.

"I heard a click sound and saw him cocking the gun. I would not have shot him if he had not cocked the gun," he said when asked what made him think he was in danger.

"It was a matter of life and death, and it was my life," he said.

Although several State witnesses have said that Nhlapho was unarmed and shot at point blank, Mamasela's friend, Pius Mokoena testified that the two men had "struggled for the gun" and that the accused had eventually overpowered the deceased.

The trial continues.

  • Bottom line - 2011-03-31 09:28

    You should live your life in such a way that it protects your family.

  • keitumetse.tlokana - 2011-03-31 10:06

    It was a game of life and death,there's the winner and there's a looser.

  • keitumetse.tlokana - 2011-03-31 10:08

    It was ur usual South African game of life and death. There's a looser and a winner,just like any other ordinary game

  • v3 - 2011-03-31 10:15

    Too many guns in SA Too much culture of violence in SA Too much corruption in SAPS - 2011-03-31 10:56

      If more responsible, level-headed people owned guns, there would be less violence because people would be able to better protect themselves from criminals, who would probably be more cautious because of it. Please see the story of the man who shot dead 2 men who were robbing him. There is too much violence and corruption, yes, but the general public are being systematically disarmed through the recent gun control initiatives. It's very simplistic to say there are too many guns.. Guns don't kill people, people using guns kill people. I'd like to know that the right people have the guns, they will never be eliminated..

  • Berelaine - 2011-03-31 16:03

    Moral of the story - shoot to injure, not kill...if you not allowed to defend yourself, then why are the criminals allowed to attack - and that's exactly what this South African government is doing - allowing the criminals to attack by not prosecuting them!

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