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'It's a pack of lies'

By McKeed Kotlolo | Oct 13, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

VICTIMS of Sunday's police shooting in Mabopane, north of Pretoria, have accused police of lying about the tragic incident.

Olga Kekana, 29, was shot dead, Sophie Kgarake, 31, was wounded in the abdomen and Andrew Singo, 27, was hit in the right hand and thigh on Sunday morning when police opened fire on them after mistaking them for hijackers.

Singo was admitted to the George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa while Kgarake was treated and discharged on the same day at Odi Hospital in Mabopane.

They were travelling from Hammanskraal to Mabopane in a grey Toyota Conquest at about 3am when police, who were looking for a hijacked Toyota Conquest which fitted the description, shot at them.

The driver, South African Air Force pilot Simon Mathibela, 26, escaped unscathed.

Police told Sowetan on Sunday that the driver of the Toyota Conquest failed to stop when instructed to do so and that police gave chase before shooting at the vehicle.

This was disputed by both Singo and Mathibela "as nothing but a pack of lies" yesterday.

"We had just pulled off from a stop street and a blue light flashed from behind, and that's when I spotted the police vehicle behind us.

"I told my friends that there were police behind us. I slowed down and that was when the first shot hit the car from behind. My friend jumped from the back seat and hit the hazard button but more shots followed. After the shooting had stopped, I came out with my military identification card in my hand and lay face down on the ground to avoid being shot," said Mathibela.

His statement was corroborated by Singo, who added: "There were no sirens, no warning shot and the blue light almost flashed simultaneously with the gunfire."

Singo said at the time, there were about three police vehicles, and after firing numerous shots at their car, a police van made a U-turn and sped off. He could not say if it returned to the scene or not. One of the vehicles was fitted with a loud hailer "but they did not make use of it".

Both men denied claims that police found guns in the car and challenged them to prove this, adding "we were not armed. Investigators had also conducted tests for possible gunpowder on our hands".

Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo declined to comment, saying the Independent Complaints Directorate was investigating.


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