In a rather bizarre incident that occurred on Monday, a seemingly angry policeman, who was being reprimanded by his landlord for playing loud music, allegedly went berserk and shot and seriously wounded the man.
The police sergeant from Nngwekhulu Tshilata outside Vuwani is attached to the police’s public order (POPS) unit in Thohoyandou. He rented a room at Makwarela township, near Sibasa. The incident happened around 22:10 when he was confronted by the landlord.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba confirmed the incident. “According to police reports, the victim found the suspect outside the rented residence, playing loud music, and instructed him to stop,” he said. The landlord told him that he was disturbing pupils busy preparing for their exams. “Apparently, the suspect didn't take it well, and an argument ensued. The suspect fired shots at the victim and then fled the scene,” he said.
The victim was rushed to the nearest hospital with severe gunshot wounds to the upper body. He remains in a critical condition.
Mashaba added that the police were notified about the incident and opened an attempted-murder case. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) was also notified. “Investigations led the police to Vuwani, where a 44-year-old sergeant was arrested for attempted murder of his landlord. The suspect was arrested on Tuesday (21st) in Vuwani village. He will appear before the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of attempted murder,” said Mashaba.
The incident was widely condemned by different sections of the community. The secretary of the Makwarela branch of the SA National Civics Organisation (SANCO), Mr Phanuel Mulaudzi, said the incident had taken them by surprise. “Just before the start of the examinations, we issued notices and letters to all liquor outlets, requesting them to play their music as low as possible until students have finished writing exams,” he said.
Mulaudzi said they were delighted when the stores and other places seemed to adhere to the request. Monday’s incident, however, was a setback, especially because of the alleged involvement of a police officer. “The landlord was within his rights to reprimand him, and it is unfortunate that he nearly died for his genuine concern. As the leadership, we are very concerned, and we are going to meet and discuss the case. We are definitely going to picket in court, asking that he not be granted bail,” Mulaudzi said.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt Gen Thembi Radebe condemned the incident in the strongest terms, saying that police were tasked with safeguarding people, not harming them.
News - Date: 24 November 2023
Search for a story:
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.