The traffic officer accused of shooting at minor girls will face an internal disciplinary process.
This is according to Tshediso Mothapo, spokesman for the Polokwane municipality who said they viewed the conduct of their official in a very serious light.
Costa Masoga appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Friday, charged with attempted murder. He is accused of shooting at three minor girls on Wednesday last week. The incident happened at Greenside, a township near Polokwane, at around 12.30pm.
According to police spokesman Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, the trigger-happy Masoga allegedly saw the girls, aged 13, 15 and 17, who were walking and insulted them. He said an exchange of words ensued between Masoga and the girls until the officer chased the girls.
He then allegedly fired several shots in the direction of the girls, where one of the bullets caught the older girl. Paramedics were summoned to the scene and police also responded immediately and arrested the 42-year-old officer, who was off-duty at the time.
Mothapo yesterday described the incident as “unfortunate.”
“The municipality will institute investigations against the officer to determine internal disciplinary processes,” said Mothapo.
He said preliminary investigations had revealed that Masoga does not have a service pistol as he only works in the municipality's control centre.
Ngoepe said they had confiscated Masoga's private firearm.
“Legal gun-owners are reminded to always comply with the provisions of the Firearms Controls Act. Any contravention of the Act may result in the owner being declared unfit to possess a firearm in addition to criminal charges that will be pressed against him or her,” said Ngoepe.
During Masoga's court appearance on Friday, magistrate Janine Ungerer postponed the matter to tomorrow (Tuesday) to allow police to obtain a profile of the accused.
“The charge you are facing is of a serious nature,” noted Ungerer who ordered Masoga to remain in police custody until his next court appearance.