Former student testifies about being shot on day Mthokozisi Ntumba was killed

Mtsweni's recollection of police sirens is disputed by defence

Mpho Koka Journalist
Former Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology student Siphesihle Mtsweni testifying in the high court in Johannesburg.
Former Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology student Siphesihle Mtsweni testifying in the high court in Johannesburg.
Image: Antonio Muchave

“I was walking to school with a friend of mine on Station Street where there was free flow of traffic when I heard sirens coming from a police truck and I saw the truck driving in my direction towards me, then I was shot from the truck, fell, got up and started running.”

This is the detailed account of a former student who was shot and injured, allegedly by police, during a student protest in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, in March last year.

Siphesihle Mtsweni, 21, then a student at the Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology (JIET) in Braamfontein, was testifying in the high court in Johannesburg in the trial of the four police officers accused of killing Mthokozisi Ntumba on the same day he was injured.

Ntumba was shot on March 10 during a student protest over historic debt and non-registration as he was coming out of his doctor’s appointment at MyClinic Health Care on De Beer Street. JIET is a college adjacent to MyClinic Health Care.

Mtsweni said he sustained injuries in his face.  

“After I was shot, the truck turned by the corner and drove towards the college on De Beer Street. I ran to the college to report the incident. I could not attend my maths and science class. I was bleeding, had blood on my clothes, was swollen on my face, had two holes in my left ear and cheek. I was dizzy as well,” said Mtsweni.

“The college told me to go to the clinic [MyClinic]. I went but I was not assisted. I made my own plan to go to a clinic in Soweto. A friend of mine took me to the clinic with his car. I got assisted at the clinic. A few bandages were applied to where I was injured. I then went home.”

Mtsweni said he dropped out of college in November due to trauma following the shooting incident.

“When I would go back to the college, I was reminded of what happened when I was shot. I am reminded of the dead body I saw,” said Mtsweni.

During cross-examination, Thomas Mohope, lawyer for accused No.1, Tshepiso Kekana, 27, asked Mtsweni whether he was aware that he was the first witness in the trial to speak about sirens.

“Do you realise that you are the first witness to speak about sirens. No other witnesses mentioned anything about sirens. Are you aware of that?”

Mtsweni agreed.

Mohope told Mtsweni that the police nyala driven by police on the day of the shooting incident did not have a siren.

“Accused no.1 will testify that their police nyala did not have a siren. What’s your response to that?” asked Mohope.

Mtsweni disagreed with Mohope and said the police vehicle he saw did have a siren.

Officers Kekana, Cidraas Motseothatha, 43, Madimetja Legodi, 37, and Victor Mohammed, 51, face charges of murder and three counts of attempted murder and have pleaded not guilty.  

The trial continues.                            

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