‘Man killed by Cyril’s body­guard’

A VIP pro­tec­tion unit mem­ber is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Ipid af­ter a quar­rel and shoot-out at a night­club that led to the death of a civil­ian

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­press.co.za

Apo­lice of­fi­cer who was a mem­ber of the VIP pro­tec­tion unit as­signed to the pres­i­dency was in­volved in a gun bat­tle that re­sulted in the death of a civil­ian in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, last week­end. The po­lice of­fi­cer was in Mthatha as part of Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s se­cu­rity de­tail.

Ramaphosa had vis­ited Bhisho on July 7, where he was the key­note speaker at the 20-year an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions of the Eastern Cape House of Tra­di­tional Lead­ers, be­fore fly­ing by mil­i­tary he­li­copter to Tsolo near Mthatha.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Mzuk­isi Fatyela, Mthatha po­lice spokesper­son, con­firmed the in­ci­dent that took place at the Savoy Shop­ping Cen­tre along Nel­son Man­dela Drive in Mthatha.

“Yes, a mem­ber of the VIP pro­tec­tion unit who was based in KwaZulu-Natal was in­volved in a shoot­ing in­ci­dent here last week.

“He was at the Savoy com­plex when he had a quar­rel with a civil­ian man. Ac­cord­ing to the in­for­ma­tion we have, the man drew a firearm and hit the po­lice of­fi­cer with the butt of the gun.

“The po­lice of­fi­cer tried to run away and the man shot him in the leg three times. The po­lice of­fi­cer had three bul­let wounds in the lower body.

“The po­lice of­fi­cer then took cover at a nearby tree and shot back. The civil­ian man was hit and was rushed to hos­pi­tal by his friends. The po­lice of­fi­cer was also taken to hos­pi­tal be­cause he had a cut on his head and had been shot in the legs,” Fatyela said.

He said a po­lice docket had been opened at the Madeira po­lice sta­tion in Mthatha and that the mat­ter was then re­ferred to the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid).

“The man who was in­volved in the shoot-out with the po­lice of­fi­cer later died in hos­pi­tal,” said Fatyela, adding that he was not aware what the two had been fight­ing about and that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on­go­ing. Fatyela said the in­ci­dent took place at around 3am. Two in­de­pen­dent sources told City Press that the wounded po­lice of­fi­cer dis­charged him­self from hos­pi­tal and in­sisted he be treated in his ho­tel room, fear­ing that his life might be in dan­ger. Ty­rone Seale, act­ing spokesper­son for Ramaphosa, said he was aware of the mat­ter. “I have heard some­thing about an in­ci­dent. I don’t have any de­tail. Un­for­tu­nately, the only thing I can do is to ask you to con­tact the po­lice. “Per­son­ally, I heard scant ref­er­ence to an in­ci­dent. There was no de­tail or what­ever. I don’t even know where we were at the time it hap­pened, whether we were still in the Eastern Cape or whether we had left. So, I re­ally am not in a po­si­tion to com­ment or add any­thing be­cause I just don’t know enough. We im­me­di­ately re­fer any­thing to do with the pro­tec­tion unit to the po­lice for com­ment,” he said. Po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant Colonel Katlego Mo­gale said the mat­ter was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Ipid and there­fore she could not com­ment. Ipid spokesper­son Moses Dlamini said the po­lice mem­ber in­volved was Con­sta­ble Bongu­musa Dlamini of the com­bined ac­tion team unit in KwaZulu-Natal. He said the firearms of both the de­ceased and the sus­pect, to­gether with the spent car­tridge cases, had been col­lected from the scene and would be sent to the bal­lis­tics unit. “It is al­leged that the de­ceased ar­gued with the sus­pect [the po­lice of­fi­cer] at Von Sway Night Club and that the de­ceased as­saulted the sus­pect on the head with his firearm. Other peo­ple in­ter­vened and the de­ceased stopped as­sault­ing the sus­pect. The sus­pect left the night club and the de­ceased fol­lowed him and fired some shots at the sus­pect. “The sus­pect re­turned fire and that’s where the de­ceased was in­jured. The de­ceased was taken to the hos­pi­tal where he passed away. The sus­pect also sus­tained a gun­shot wound on the right leg and a lac­er­a­tion on the head. The de­ceased’s cause of death was tho­racic in­juries. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is cur­rently un­der way,” said Ipid’s Dlamini.

TALK TO US Have you ever been in­volved in an ar­gu­ment at a pub­lic place that turned vi­o­lent or even deadly?

PHOTO: KHAYA NG­WENYA

MEN IN BLACK Mem­bers of the po­lice’s VIP pro­tec­tion unit

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