Game-hunt tragedy pains family

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

The police are probing a case of culpable homicide but Jackson Matlhase's wife, Salome Makwena, believes her game farm worker husband was murdered.

Makwena and Matlhase's family are adamant that he was shot dead while running away from someone who wanted to kill him.

They say his injuries do not match the story that he was accidentally shot when a gun fell in a back of a bakkie and discharged the single bullet that killed him instantly.

Matlhase was on a night game drive last Friday, hunting with tourists on Campfornis farm in Alldays, outside Polokwane, when he died.

Makwena says the police, who were with the tourists and farm owner Nicholas de Klerk, told her that her husband was killed by a bullet that that was accidentally fired when the bakkie went over a hump and the firearm was dropped.

Makwena says the police told her of her husband's death only at about 10pm and have not taken her to the place where hed died.

"As if that was not enough, the police and the farmer took him to the mortuary without first consulting us," she says.

"We learnt from other people that he was taken to the Musina mortuary by the police and farmer."

Family spokesman and the deceased's brother, Vhengani Matlhase, says they noticed at the mortuary the next day that there were three big holes in his brother's neck and chest.

They says these injuries were inconsistent with the story that the police and farm owner had given them to explain his death.

The family reiterated their belief that their relative was shot while running away from someone who wanted to kill him.

Police spokesman Superintendent Ronel Otto says the police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.