WATCH | Polokwane municipal worker arrested after allegedly going on deadly rampage in vehicle

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  • Graphic footage capturing a Polokwane municipal official driving a truck in an apparent fit of rage surfaced on social media on Wednesday.
  • Additional footage shows the driver, Walter Madubanya, being shot at by a police officer after crashing the truck into a wall.
  • He damaged seven vehicles and ran over a municipal law enforcement officer who later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

Footage surfaced on Wednesday of a Polokwane municipal employee who allegedly ran over a co-worker on 7 August inside the premises of the Polokwane Municipality in Ladanna.

Seven vehicles were also damaged during his apparent fit of rage.

The motive behind the incident has not yet been determined but a statement by Polokwane police said 36-year-old Walter Madubanya had allegedly locked himself inside a truck and started "manifesting violent behaviour".

"He was allegedly in possession of a dangerous weapon and threatened anyone who came closer. When other employees tried to find out what was going on, he suddenly started jerkingly driving the truck and in the process, running over a 36-year-old municipal law enforcement officer several times, seriously injuring him," said spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

When the police arrived on the scene he rammed into seven vehicles parked on the premises, including two police vehicles. They then fired shots at the vehicle, the video clip shows. 

"He wanted to kill people. Officers can't stand around and do nothing, the intention wasn't to kill him. Officers were aiming to stop him doing what he was doing," said Mojapelo.

Madubanya then lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the side of a building and reportedly sustained injuries.

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In additional footage of the incident, a police officer can be seen shooting at Madubanya after the truck came to a standstill but Polokwane police said he was not hit.

"Our official report indicated that the suspect was injured when he finally drove the truck into the wall. He was taken to hospital and was later discharged. This means he was not shot," said Mojapelo.

Rasie Smith, the 36-year-old co-worker run over by Madubanya, was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries. 

Madubanya appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on a charge of murder and seven counts of malicious damage to property. He was denied bail and his case was postponed to 16 September for further police investigations.

Municipality spokesperson Thipa Selala said in a statement they did not know what had set Madubanya off or what happened in the lead-up to the incident.

"The municipality has followed internal HR processes and issued a suspension pending the court outcome," he added.


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