thug has cheek to ask for help

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A traditional healer became very angry when a man who was injured in an exchange of gunfire with the police asked him to ask the police not to kill him.

Hlatikhulu Eric Ngobeni, a traditional healer who is also a gospel musician, was driving along the Acornhoek-Bushbuckridge road when a car that was being chased by the police overtook his on Thursday last week.

A number of police vehicles also overtook him at high speed but he caught up with then about 5km further on.

"I saw the police diving out the sides of their vehicles and shooting at a man who was shooting back at them," Hlatikhulu said.

"The man could not match the police because he was using a pistol while they were using high-calibre firearms. He was shot about three times including the hand holding the pistol.

"The man fell to the ground and the police rushed at him with their guns still pointed at him."

Hlatikhulu said he had not expected to see such a "shocking movie" in real life.

"I've never seen anything like this before," Hlatikhulu said.

"It was like a mini war and the police seemed very dedicated to their job. Had that not been the case they could have run away when the thug started firing at them like a mad person."

Hlatikhulu said he became very angry when the man, who was still lying on the ground, looked at him and asked for help.

"He said I should ask the police to have mercy on him and save his life," Hlatikhulu said.

"I became very angry when a policemen told me he was wanted for serious crimes such as murder," He said, "So I asked him if he had shown any mercy towards the people he had killed."

Hlatikhulu said South Africa was tired of crime to the extent that the police were left with no alternative but to shoot back when their lives were in danger.

The police took the injured man to the Tintswalo Hospital, where he is under police guard.

An unlicensed firearm found next to the injured man was confiscated and will be sent for ballistic tests to determine if it had been used to commit crimes elsewhere.

Acornhoek police spokesman Inspector Joseph Mokgakane said investigations were continuing.