UPDATE: Nelspruit businessman shot, killed after hit-and-run accident, family claims cop 'executed' him

2019-06-10 13:49
IPID is investigating after Nelspruit businessman Mervyn Masher was shot dead allegedly by police (Facebook)

IPID is investigating after Nelspruit businessman Mervyn Masher was shot dead allegedly by police (Facebook)

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Mpumalanga police say the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating after a police officer allegedly shot and killed a well known Nelspruit businessman who had become involved in an argument with a group of bikers. 

Merwyn Masher, a 38-year-old father of three, had apparently stopped at the scene of an accident on Madiba Drive in Nelspruit in the early hours of Sunday morning, where an unknown person from Pretoria had been killed in a hit-and-run accident, Colonel Benjamin Bhembe said on Monday. 

The whole saga started when a motorcyclist, who was attending the annual Sunriders MCC Bike Rally in Nelspruit, slammed into a car.

A second car then crashed into the motorcycle. As the second car's passenger was trying to get out of the vehicle, she was hit by another car, which sped off. The woman was killed instantly.

A while later, Masher stopped at the scene, along with other bikers who had also attended the rally. Police allege that Masher got in an argument with them, and pulled out a gas pistol. Bhembe said that when Masher waved his gun around, he was shot dead by an officer.

WATCH: Suspected KZN robbers arrested after high-speed police chase ends in dramatic crash

Masher's family has disputed the police's version of events saying Masher and his wife Milly were travelling home after getting food when they came across the accident scene. As he was a trained paramedic he offered to assist the emergency workers on the scene, says the family. They claim the bikers tried to interfere with Mervyn's attempts help the victim.

"Following an argument between the deceased Mervyn and some of the bikers who were interfering with his attempt to assist the injured, the police who were also on the scene came over and intervened and ordered everyone including Mervyn, his wife, tow truck drivers and rowdy bikers to get down on the ground," the statement read. 

His family says Masher's weapon was concealed by his pyjamas while he was lying on the ground. They claim one of the officers then shot "Mervyn Masher in the side of the head, [execution style], killing him instantly for no reason".

"According to witnesses Mervyn, who just like the other persons at the incident scene went to the ground as instructed by the police and did not pose any risk nor threatened the policeman who executed him."

They added that officers on the scene did not allow for Masher to be taken to hospital.

The family further states that Masher's wife was "harassed" by the same officer who shot him before she was taken in for questioning and released an hour later. 

Masher was declared dead on the scene by paramedics.

The family says that the officer involved in the shooting has not being arrested. 

*This story has been updated to include the family's statement.

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