Traf­fic boss was killed by five shots

De­tails of how Dlamini was killed emerge

The Witness - - NEWS - SHARIKA REGCHAND • [email protected]­

IT ap­pears that Msun­duzi traf­fic boss, Phumla Dlamini, was shot in the fore­head and when he fell to the ground he was shot four more times.

This was the ev­i­dence heard in the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg re­gional court yes­ter­day when Si­fiso Hlengwa’s trial re­sumed after a year-long de­lay.

The de­lay was to do with him run­ning out of money which re­sulted in his le­gal team with­draw­ing.

Le­gal Aid SA has now ap­pointed an at­tor­ney to rep­re­sent him.

Hlengwa pleaded not guilty last year to Dlamini’s mur­der on Jan­uary 14, 2016 at the Wash­ing­ton Road head­quar­ters. At the time, Dlamini was Hlengwa’s su­pe­rior.

Hlengwa claims the gun went off dur­ing a scuffle.

State pros­e­cu­tor, Os­car Sokhela, read out an af­fi­davit by se­nior foren­sic an­a­lyst Re­nier van der Sandt.

He said that after study­ing what was given to him, he ob­served that Dlamini had a wound on the fore­head.

It ap­pears to have tat­too­ing around it which in­di­cates that the muz­zle of the firearm was not more than a me­tre from Dlamini when the shot was fired, said Van der Sandt.

He also saw bul­let im­pact marks on the floor in the of­fice. These shots were fired down into the floor.

He said Dlamini was al­ready ly­ing on the ground when he was shot by the bul­let that ex­ited on the right side.

Bal­lis­tic ex­pert, War­rant-Of­fi­cer Sibu­siso Nkosi also tes­ti­fied. He said the pis­tol used to kill Dlamini func­tions nor­mally.

When the trig­ger is pressed, only one bul­let is re­leased. This means the trig­ger had to be pressed five times for Dlamini to be shot that many times.

When the four bul­lets were fired, the “tar­get was sta­tion­ary”, said Nkosi.

The city’s former mu­nic­i­pal man­ager, Mx­olisi Nkosi, whose cross-ex­am­i­na­tion was on hold from last year, com­pleted it yes­ter­day.

He said Dlamini called him and he told him to hold on as he was in a meet­ing. Nkosi held the phone next to his ear while he walked out the room.

“I heard Dlamini scream haibo, haibo. I then heard a loud bang that caused me to move the phone from my ear,” he said.

Nkosi tried to call him back twice but the call rang unan­swered. Un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion, at­tor­ney Kesh­rina Ma­habeer said that at no stage did Dlamini call any­one when they were to­gether.

The bulk of the ev­i­dence con­tra­dicts Hlengwa’s plea.

Hlengwa said he and Dlamini had been in­volved in an ar­gu­ment that “grew heated” after he re­ceived a let­ter re­mov­ing him from his post as the firearms con­trol of­fi­cer for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Hlengwa said he had left the of­fice and had a glass of wa­ter while try­ing to com­pose him­self. Dlamini then called him back to the of­fice and closed the door.

He said Dlamini pulled his (Hlengwa’s) firearm out of the waist­band of his trousers. He then turned and grabbed Dlamini’s hands and they wres­tled over the weapon.

Dur­ing the strug­gle they both fell to their knees and the gun went off the first time. “A fur­ther four shots were fired in rapid suc­ces­sion,” he added.

He added he could not say if his or Dlamini’s fin­ger touched the trig­ger when the gun went off.

The case con­tin­ues on Mon­day.

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