Son relives how Metro cop mom was 'killed' by SAPS officer

Police followed Yolo home after he fails to stop

Thulani Mbele Running Matters
Yolo Mthimkhulu, 27, was arrested for reckless and negligent driving by police officers who allegedly shot his metro cop mother outside her house in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Yolo Mthimkhulu, 27, was arrested for reckless and negligent driving by police officers who allegedly shot his metro cop mother outside her house in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Moments before a policeman shot and killed a metro cop at her house, he allegedly first slapped the deceased's 80-year-old mother.

Nombulelo Mthimkhulu, a Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer, was shot multiple times by one of the three policemen who had followed her son Yolo, 27, to his home on Saturday night after they accused him of reckless and negligent driving. The incident happened in Dobsonville, Soweto. 

Yolo had been driving from a friend's house when a police van started following him with its siren on. He said he did not stop but drove slowly to his home where he thought it would be safe for him to speak with the police. 

However, the situation escalated when one cop in plain clothing allegedly started being aggressive towards him when Yolo wanted to see his appointment card. 

"He slapped me after producing his card because I was questioning the type of arrest he wanted to effect on me. My family heard the commotion and came out of the house. The officer slapped my grandmother and accused her of interfering. My mother also came out and he slapped her in the face as well and they got into a tussle; my mother then ran towards the house while the officer chased after her. We then heard gunshots," said Yolo yesterday.

He said he was put in the back of the police van. 

"The same officer came to the van and tried to shoot me but he had run out of bullets. He then tried to reload his gun but his colleague stopped him. I found out while in the van that my mother had been killed. I sat in the van while a few metres away she drew her last breath," said Yolo.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating the incident, alluding that Mthimkhulu fired the first shot. 

"The JMPD officer, who is allegedly a mother of the driver, got out of the house and had an argument with the police officers. She allegedly told them that she is going to get her gun, went into the house, and started shooting at the police officers. The police officers allegedly returned fire and the JMPD officer was fatally wounded," said Ipid spokesperson Phaladi Shuping. 

A neighbour, his wife and a friend also tried to intervene before Mthimkhulu was shot.

“I tried to separate them and the police officer fell down, but when he got up he pulled out his gun and pointed it at me threatening to shoot me but my wife got in between us. That's when Nombulelo [Mthimkhulu] told him  that she was also a police officer and ran to the house and the police officer ran after her,” said Nhlanhla Rikhotso 

Another eye witness, Thabo Mdluli, 42, said the police officer shot Mthimkhulu while chasing after her.

“She ran to the house to get her gun and he ran after her and I followed them. I saw him shooting at her as she turned the corner. I heard about four to five gunshots. He then came back and started shooting at me. I ran and jumped a wall to my house," said Mdluli.

According to the family, Mthimkhulu came out with her gun and tried to confront the officer and that is when she was shot. 

The officers put her mother in the van to arrest her but the community surrounded the car and stopped them from taking her away.   


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