Chief cop shoots 7 in row over parking
An Eastern Cape police station commander has been accused of randomly firing on civilians.
Seven people were injured.
Qumbu station commander Colonel Mavela Feke was accused by victims and the Qumbu shopping centre manager of firing live bullets to resolve a row over a parking space.
Bystanders said two drivers were arguing over a parking bay and one of them phoned the police. On arrival, Feke opened fire, the witnesses said.
Victim Samkelo Mananga, a tout at the taxi rank across the road, said: “There was a lady who parked her white Polo and a guy in a bakkie parked her in. The two argued and the guy said he was not moving because the lady was drunk.
“She then phoned the police. On arrival, the station commander asked no questions. He just started shooting.”
Mananga said there was a second police officer with him and neither officer was wearing police uniform.
Mananga was hit by a bullet on the right side of his chest.
Anele Ntlati said he was walking to work after buying himself lunch soon after 1pm.
“As I was walking I heard gunshots and I just kept on walking because they were coming from the opposite direction. Before I knew it, umlenze wam wonyela [my leg felt numb] and when I looked, there was blood gushing out of my leg. I could not believe it, I had been shot.
“I did not feel the bullet hit me. I called a friend who then took me to Dr Malizo Mpehle Hospital,” he said.
The bullet hit Ntlati in the thigh and doctors removed it from near the groin area.
Ntlati said: “It is crazy how someone can think it is OK to just start shooting at people. I do not even know this story that everyone is talking about regarding parking. I was simply making my way back to work after buying some lunch.”Axola Magoqoza, who was shot in the abdomen, accused the police of brutality.“There was absolutely no reason why that man was shooting at people randomly in broad daylight. He should have just defused the situation and that is where it would have all ended. The irony is that the lady who called him drove away unscathed,” said Magoqoza.Another of the victims is a woman who works at a nearby fried chicken franchise. She was shot in the chin.Vuyo Mbangatha said he was shot in the leg, but that he and others were unable to open a case with the police because they were told that they first needed to have a J88 form from the doctor.“We went back to the hospital but we were told that the only person who could fill in the form was the doctor who saw us on Friday. We were told they would only be back on duty after 4pm on Monday. Once we have those forms, only then can we open a case,” he said.
Shopping centre manager Bongile Ndilele confirmed the incident. He said the shooter was their local police station commander.“We did not report the matter to the police because we assumed that the victims would do that themselves.“I personally visited the seven victims in hospital and I apologised to them because it is not our intention as a centre to have our customers injured on our premises.“Even the reason for firing at the people is not clear. Those people could have died.“When you look at where they were shot, their injuries could have been fatal. They are all lucky to be alive. The centre security guard stayed away from the hail of bullets for his safety,” Ndilele said.Contacted for comment on Monday, Feke would only say he was not a trained communications officer.“We have a communications department so I would rather not comment. I do not want to say anything that the SAPS will not like.“All I can say is that police attended to a complaint, the suspects attacked the police and the police defended themselves,” Feke said.Provincial police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni said: “There are no rules that apply only to police officers.“It is not necessary to have a J88 when opening a case. It can simply be added later as an attachment for evidence purposes.”Tonjeni then referred all queries to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.firstname.lastname@example.org..