Shot ‘for no reason’

2017-12-08 14:11
Lucas Phungula (41) from Edendale wants justice to be done after he was allegedly shot by the police and wrongfully arrested. Here he points to the place where the bullet that ripped through his shoulder hit the wall above his bed. He did not want to show his face.

Lucas Phungula (41) from Edendale wants justice to be done after he was allegedly shot by the police and wrongfully arrested. Here he points to the place where the bullet that ripped through his shoulder hit the wall above his bed. He did not want to show his face. (Nompilo Kunene)

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A disgruntled Edendale man alleges he was wrongfully shot and injured by police and later released from custody without so much as an apology.

Lucas Phungula (41) told The Witness he was shot in his left arm on November 16 when police allegedly came to his house looking for guns. He said it was around 11 pm when the door of his outside building was kicked open by the police.

“As I was sitting up someone shot me in my arm.”

He said the bullet ripped through his upper shoulder, went through his pillow and into the wall above his bed.

“I was in pain and there was so much blood. I had never been shot before,” he said.

Phungula said he started crying and asked the police who were standing in front of his door shining a torch on him why they shot him.

“One police officer came in to help me. He took the sheets and tied it around my arm and called the ambulance.”

Phungula said on his way to the ambulance, which was parked on the street, he saw about six police vehicles outside the gate and there were police officers all over their yard. He said he was admitted to hospital. “I had police officers with R5 rifles watching over me the whole time.

“They kept my phone and whenever it rang they answered and put it on loudspeaker. My ankles were chained and I had to ask the police for permission to use the bathroom.

“It was embarrassing and humiliating because people thought I was a hardcore criminal,” said Phungula.

After being discharged on Monday afternoon he was taken to Plessislaer police station and put in the holding cells overnight. The following morning his name was not on the list of prisoners going to court.

“Another officer asked me why I was arrested and after I told him the story he told me to go home just like that.”

Phungula said he has never been charged for any offence. He has since moved “for safety” and lost his job at a construction site.

Phungula said he is getting legal assistance as he wants justice.

Phungula’s landlord, Sduduze Ndlela (63), said this wasn’t the first time police came to his property and “caused havoc”, recounting a similar incident last year. “This time they also came into my house and ransacked it, broke my windows, saying that they were looking for guns.

“They pointed a gun to my head while they demanded me to produce illegal guns. They even asked my grandchild where I hid my gun,” said Ndlela.

Plessislaer police station spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela confirmed that Phungula was arrested for “attempting to grab a police officer’s firearm” but the charges were withdrawn. He could not say if Phungula was ever taken to court.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police brutality

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