Student cops taught about guns - witness

2012-08-22 17:13

Johannesburg - Students at the police training academy in Pretoria were being taught that guns were not toys, the South Gauteng High Court heard on Wednesday.

"I told them that the finger is only placed on the trigger once one is ready to fire at something," Warrant Officer Lewis Matlala, a trainer at the academy, testified.

Student Constable Sipho Mbatha, on trial for killing Thato Mokoka, 16, was one of Matlala's students at the academy.

Mokoka was shot dead during a police raid at his grandmother's home in Bramfischerville, Soweto, on February 14. The boy was suspected to be part of a gang, as well as of owning a firearm.

In earlier proceedings, a friend of Mokoka's said he was part of a group of friends called the Boys with Advice, but denied that they terrorised local residents. Police officers testified previously that Mokoka was not found in possession of a gun.

Mbatha has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him. He claims his R-5 rifle accidentally went off as he bent over to search Mokoka, who was lying on his stomach.

The trial continues.

  • rbphiri - 2012-08-22 17:32

    He claims his R-5 rifle accidentally went off as he bent over to search Mokoka. Hmmm interesting can you tell us the real version when you sober...Lovely fairy tale by the way...perhaps you not only a killer but also an excellent author at fiction.

  • Jason - 2012-08-22 18:20

    Again the lack of training is brought to the fore! When will this government realize there are guys out there with such a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this kind of thing, but they are white and therefore not good enough! Use what you have ANC whether they are white black or brown use the guys with the most experience to train these officers.

  • wayne.abroue - 2012-08-22 19:10

    What dickhead walks around with a loaded firearm, with one up the spout ready to fire? Do ALL SAPS do this? Are they taught to do this, Is this SOP's.? No properly trained person would do something so stupid. I am shocked. Even the trainer is a ASS, He teaches them to operate like that...Keep your finger away from the trigger,,, My word! Save us all.

      jscholtz - 2012-08-23 10:21

      Wayne, part of your comment sounds like someone typically uneducated in the practices of armed forces and the dynamics of an active shooter type event. It is very common to have a round chambered when carrying a firearm. In a gun fight it takes a lot more time to rack a gun before engaging a target, time that you may not have. It is also a physical action that can induce a failure to feed under stress. There are videos online to prove this and I have seen people killed for this very reason. You are right about the fact that training is essential, and so is the practice of keeping your finger off the trigger unless you are firing. That is certainly the standard of what is expected.

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