Father who accidentally shot, killed son gets suspended sentence

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Sibusiso Emanuel Tshabalala weeps in court before his bail application yesterday. He shot his son on Tuesday night when he mistook him for a hijacker. (News24)
Sibusiso Emanuel Tshabalala weeps in court before his bail application yesterday. He shot his son on Tuesday night when he mistook him for a hijacker. (News24)

An Ennerdale father, who claimed that he had shot his son accidentally when he was startled by a knock on his car window, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, which was suspended for five years.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Gauteng spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, said it welcomed the sentence handed down by the Lenasia Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Mjonondwane added that the sentence was just and fair. 

"The sentence was confirmed by the court after the accused entered into a plea deal and sentence agreement with the State," she said.

Sibusiso Emmanuel Tshabalala shot and killed his son Luyanda, 16, at Fred Norman Secondary School in Ennerdale, southern Johannesburg, on June 5, 2018.

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

Tshabalala claimed that he had fallen asleep in his car while waiting for his son and that he had mistaken him for a hijacker.

During his previous appearance in court, Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe told the visibly shaken and emotional Tshabalala that she wished the case could have been finalised and that she was disappointed that the matter had to be postponed.

Police spokesperson Captain Mpande Khoza previously reported that, according to information in the docket, Tshabalala had taken his son to school to attend evening classes, News24 reported.

"The father dropped the boy off and he locked his vehicle and waited inside ... he then fell asleep. The boy [later] came back and knocked on the passenger window of his father's vehicle. The father who was asleep in the car with his firearm on him ... became scared when he heard his sons knocks [and] pulled out his firearm and shot in the direction of the person who was knocking," Khoza said. 

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