Cop pleads not guilty

2018-05-10 16:00

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A policeman on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to killing a colleague at the Victor Lembede Shooting Range in Pietermaritzburg two years ago.

Samarasen Naicker of Durban has explained in his plea to the Pietermaritzburg regional court his version of what transpired on January 20, 2016 when Sergeant Malcolm Goodwin, of the Durban Accident Unit, was killed.

Advocate Gideon Scheltema SC read out the statement to magistrate Naseem Cassim.

On the tragic day, Naicker was on the third day of an official police emergency service tactical training course along with other officers.

As part of the practical course he was required to take part in a mock crime scene management scenario, where officers played different roles.

“I was allocated the role of a first responder to the mock crime scene. As such I was required to take over the crime scene … identify exhibits, question witnesses and call out necessary support personnel, in respect of which the idea was to illustrate how to deal with the crime scene from a holistic point of view.”

He said they were not given any instructions on the condition their firearms were to be kept, not instructed to wear bullet-proof vests and not informed as to the possible presence of a suspect at the mock crime scene.

Also, no dummy/training firearms or blank ammunition were made available to them.

“On my arrival at the mock scene, I noticed a police officer playing the role of a security guard, who had become a ‘deceased victim’ with no firearm in his holster.

“While interviewing the crowd and ordering them to move away from the ‘deceased’, I noticed Sergeant Goodwin, playing the role of a bystander in the crowd.

“He had two firearms, one of which was in his holster and the other tucked into the front of his trousers”.

When he questioned Goodwin about the firearm tucked into his trousers, he swore at Naicker and then proceeded to turn and run away.

Since they were not given any instructions about this, Naicker said he did not react immediately because he was uncertain of what role he had to play.

He then heard officers on the mock scene scream “chase him” and assumed that this was what he was supposed to do in the exercise. Thus he pursued Goodwin who stopped, turned around and pointed a firearm at him.

“At this point I drew my police issued firearm and pointed it at him. Almost simultaneously, I heard the sound of the hammer of the firearm in Goodwin’s possession being activated, in response to which I instinctively discharged a round in the direction of the deceased, who fell to the ground,” he said.

Naicker added that at all relevant times, he acted within the reasonable bounds of self-defence.

“When I discharged my firearm, I genuinely believed that my life was in danger. The discharge of my firearm took place instinctively and as a matter of reflex.”

The trial continues.


Read more on:    murder case

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