Shot by suicidal policeman husband, left for dead

Stan Mzimba

Stan Mzimba

An Eastern Cape widow has filed a R4,5million lawsuit against Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.

Florence Dideka Madyibi, 40, of Ngqeleni, accused the ministry of failing to confiscate a service pistol from her "violent" policeman husband despite her repeated pleas.

A bullet shot from the firearm nearly ended her life when her husband shot her before turning the weapon on himself in 2005.

Madyibi, who did not attend yesterday's proceedings, is suing the state on her own behalf and for her four children.

In papers brought before Judge Xola Petse, she claims that her husband, Phumzile Madyibi, was an alcoholic.

"He also had suicidal tendencies and suffered from depression," she said

Madyibi said her husband, who was a detective at the Ngqeleni police station, often threatened to shoot when the couple had a dispute.

On the evening of January 21 2005 she alleges that her husband shot her in the neck.

Thinking she was dead, he then shot himself dead.

Madyibi blamed the police for failing to confiscate her husband's firearm, despite her repeated requests for them to do so.

She said the police also failed to charge her husband for pointing a firearm at her.

The widow said she spent three months in hospital being treated for the injuries caused by the shooting, and for some time could breathe only through a tube.

She is claiming damages for pain, suffering and the discomfort she had to endure for nearly eight months.

Her hospital expenses totalled R54000.

Her total medical expenses, incurred as a result of the shooting, have been assessed by doctors at about R1million.

The hearing continues today.