Student in court for firing shots in class

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A student at the Nelspruit campus of the Tshwane University of Technology in Mpumalanga appeared in the Nelspruit magistrate's court yesterday for allegedly firing two shots in a class after a fight over a girl.

Mphemphu Themba of Barberton was remanded in custody after the court discovered that he was wanted for another crime in Barberton.

He is expected to appear in court again next month.

Nelspruit police spokesman Inspector Dawie Pretorius could not immediately say what Themba, 20, had been charged with in Barberton.

"At the moment I'm not sure what charges he is facing there."

Themba allegedly had a fist fight with a fellow student over a girl on Thursday.

He threatened to settle the score the next day.

He allegedly brought a 9mm pistol to class on Friday and called for another fight.

"This guy suddenly stood up and told the other guy that he was ready to start where they left off the previous day," said a student who asked to remain anonymous.

"He produced a gun and threatened to shoot the other guy in the balls. But in the heat of the moment he fired two quick shots into the ceiling."

The student said all students who were in the class scrambled for the door to get out first.

"The guy ran towards the gate but security guards caught him before the police were called," the student said.

Two police officials from Nelspruit police station rushed to the crime scene, where the gunman was handed over to them.

The suspect will face charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Police spokesman Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi confirmed the shooting incident and said the firearm was confiscated for further investigation.

The management of the university could not be reached for comment yesterday.