VIP police in shooting of motorist denied bail

FOUR members of the police's VIP protection unit who allegedly shot and killed a Pretoria motorist could have done so out of road rage and to show how powerful they were, a magistrate said yesterday.

FOUR members of the police's VIP protection unit who allegedly shot and killed a Pretoria motorist could have done so out of road rage and to show how powerful they were, a magistrate said yesterday.

"The information I have suggests that they are people who should not be outside at all," said Bheki Ntshingila at the bail hearing of the four Pretoria-based officers in the Pretoria magistrate's court.

Captain Rosina Mabena, Sergeant Lillian Tlhapi, Sergeant Jacobeth Ngobeni and Warrant Officer Enoch Makgamatha earlier made submissions that the state's case against them was weak and that they intended to plead not guilty.

They also submitted that they be granted bail because they were not a danger to society or flight risks.

However, Ntshingila questioned how the state's case was weak when one of the accused willingly gave police information about the killing of 23-year-old Nkosinathi Ntuli on Monday.

Senior investigating officer at the Independent Complaints Directorate Mandlakayise Mahlangu told the court that Makgamatha, Ngobeni and Tlhapi opened fire at Ntuli's car, with one of the shots killing him.

It also came to light that the three were using two guns - those of Ngobeni and Makgamatha.

Tlhapi and Ngobeni alternated between one gun when the other jammed.

They had reportedly tried to bring Ntuli's car to a halt as he was allegedly driving along the wrong side of Boom Street, near the corner of Cowie Street.

The court heard that the reason they chased Ntuli was because he nearly crashed into them and didn't stop.

The courtroom was so full that some people had to stand throughout proceedings.

Outside members of the ANC Youth League's Montana branch, to which Ntuli belonged, sang "we will meet you at the streets" and displayed placards with the words "give them bail, they die" and "killing innocent people is a problem, not a solution". - Sapa

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