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Father who mistook son for hijacker in court for tragic shooting incident

Emmanuel Tshabalala.
Emmanuel Tshabalala.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

An Ennerdale father who shot dead his teenage son - believing him to be a hijacker outside a school - returns to the dock in the Lenasia Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe expressed hope that the case against Emmanuel Sibusiso Tshabalala would be concluded soon when he was last in court in November.

Tshabalala was initially charged with murder. He shot his son‚ Luyanda‚ outside the Fred Norman Secondary School in Ennerdale‚ south of Johannesburg‚ on June 5.

He had dropped Luyanda at the school for evening classes and then fell asleep in the car.

When the teen tried to wake him up after class‚ he mistook him for a hijacker.

The Sowetan reported earlier that Tshabalala's lawyer Chewe Machaka had requested the matter be postponed to allow him to finalise formal representations to prosecuting authorities.

"We have also requested to make a plea on a lesser charge [of culpable homicide]‚" Machaka told the court.

A visibly relieved Tshabalala said he was hopeful the matter would be concluded soon.

Days after Luyanda's killing‚ his mother‚ Siphiwe Khalishwayo‚ had said she did not blame her husband for the incident.

"He's suffering. He wanted to take his own life. I had to be strong for him. We had to talk through this‚ telling him about his other young children. If he died‚ who would protect them?" Khalishwayo said.

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