Ennerdale father, who 'accidentally' shot son dead, released on warning

2018-06-07 16:15
A father cries in court as he prepares to appear in the Lenasia magistrates' court in connection with the shooting of his son on school premises. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

A father cries in court as he prepares to appear in the Lenasia magistrates' court in connection with the shooting of his son on school premises. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sibusiso Emanuel Tshabalala put his cleanly shaven head in his hands and wept as his bail application got underway in the Lenasia Magistrate's Court after he shot his son dead on Tuesday night.

His wife, Sibongile Tshabalala, who was sitting in the first row of Courtroom 3, stood up and went into the dock where the couple wept together.

As the clicking of the cameras grew louder, so did their weeping.

"Luyanda, my child," she said with tears streaming down her face as she held on to her husband while stroking his head.

Tshabalala's younger brother, Bafana, who was also in court, rested his elbows on his knees. He wiped away his tears as he stared at the courtroom floor.

Tshabalala is facing a murder charge after he shot and killed Luyanda Themba Tshabalala in what he says was a freak accident. He apparently told his wife that he thought he was being hijacked on Tuesday night.

No previous charges

The father appeared briefly before Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe in a packed courtroom shortly after 12:00.

He was initially meant to appear at the Protea Magistrate's Court but the matter was referred to Lenasia. It was also meant to be a first appearance but was changed to a bail application.

Van der Merwe explained that even though he had a lawyer in court, all evidence that he submitted during the bail application could be used against him in the trial.


She also explained that if he had any previous charges he needed to tell the court.

Tshabalala's defence lawyer Chewe Machaka said he was ready to proceed with a bail application.

"This is the first incident and a painful one."

Employed as security officer

Machaka then read from Tshabalala's affidavit.

"I have been advised that the offence with which I am faced falls under schedule five. At this stage I do not know the basis that the state is opposing this bail apart from the schedule five offence.

"I am 51-years-[old]," he said

Machaka read out that his client was born in Qwaqwa and that he was a security officer for the police.

Tshabalala's other children are aged 13, 9 and the youngest is in Grade 1.

According to the affidavit, Tshabalala's wife is unemployed and his family depends on him.

'It will haunt me for the rest of my life'

"I was arrested on June 6 after I handed myself over to the police. On the day in question I took my son, the deceased, to school at around 16:00 for his extra lessons. After dropping him off at school I left to my house and came back shortly before 19:00. As I was tired, my licensed firearm was on my waist... when I heard the noise, I thought I was being hijacked, I drew the firearm and I realised it was my son when he said, 'Daddy, it's me.'"

After the shooting he bundled the boy into the back seat to get to the nearest hospital. Luyanda was declared dead at the hospital.

"What happened on this particular day will haunt me for the rest of my life... It is in the interests of this court to release me so that I can go and bury my son in dignity."

To enable subtitles turn it on under settings on the video

Van der Merwe remanded the matter until the July 24.

She released Tshabalala on a warning, so that he could bury his son.

"I have taken into account that he has additional costs for a funeral and I think that the interests of justice will be best served if the applicant is released on warning with no amount to pay," Van der Merwe said.

'I shot the child by mistake'

"I can only describe this incident as a tragedy, and judging from the applicant's display of emotions and the family's presence, it is an incident that will impact the applicant and the family for the rest of their lives," she added.

On Wednesday afternoon News24 visited Luyanda's family home and spoke to his stepmother, Sibongile. She had a red scarf tied around her chest as a sign of mourning.

READ: 'Dad, it's me, Themba' – 16-year-old from Ennerdale shouts as his dad shoots him, thinking he's a hijacker

Sibongile recounted her husband's words when he returned home without Luyanda on Tuesday night.

"I shot the child by mistake, I thought I was being hijacked," he told her.

"Earlier, he told his father that there were evening classes and asked him to please take him. So, as he always did, his dad took him to school and then came back home," said Sibongile.

At around 20:00, because Luyanda had said they would be done by that time, his father returned to the school to fetch him.

3 missed calls from Luyanda

"When he got there, he parked inside the Fred Norman Secondary [School] premises and waited. While he was waiting, he fell asleep because he had returned from working on a construction site, so he was tired. He fell asleep."   

Tshabalala said Luyanda had called his father while he was asleep in the car.

"My husband said he had found three missed calls from Luyanda. He did not hear the phone."

Luyanda recognised his father's vehicle and headed towards it.

"When he got to the car, he tried to open the door, but his father had locked the car. He couldn't open the car, so then he began shaking it. When my husband woke up, he saw someone who looked like he was trying to hijack him, so he got a fright and reached for his gun."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.