Widow sues minister for R4,5m

Stan Mzimba

Stan Mzimba

The Mthatha high court heard yesterday how a trigger-happy, suicidal policeman with a drinking problem was allowed to keep his service pistol, despite his wife's repeated pleas that he be disarmed.

Former policeman and now a practising attorney, Ntutuzelo Nolangeni, described his former colleague, Sergeant Phumzile Madyibi, as a trigger-happy, violent person who would talk about shooting "at the slightest provocation".

Nolangeni was testifying in the case in which Madyibi's widow, Florence, 40, is suing Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula for R4,5million for failing to disarm her late husband and confiscate his service pistol despite her repeated pleas.

Florence Madyibi was seriously injured when her husband opened fire on her before turning the gun on himself on January 21 2003.

She first laid charges against her husband in 2002 after he pointed a gun at her, but the police had never followed up on the case.

On the evening of January 21 2003, the husband fired a shot at her, thought she was dead, and then killed himself.

Nolangeni testified that even when on duty Madyibi would readily fire warning shots at any fleeing suspects.

"Other police officers were always reluctant to work with him," said Nolangeni.

The case continues.