Pretoria – “You shot him just like that?”
Those were the words of a car guard describing the incident where Tsakani Rikhotso Shimange, 38, was shot and killed, allegedly by a Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) officer.
Shimange was allegedly shot by an officer a few metres from his place of work at the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services in Hatfield after dropping off his partner, Sibongile Ntlwane, 37, at Sunnypark, Pretoria.
“The car guard told us that he was directing Rikhotso to park when the TMPD officer stopped him, spoke briefly and, when he returned to the car, he shot him.”
He said the family was shocked to find out that Tsakani had been shot by a police officer as he was not an aggressive person.
“In our family, he was the one constantly laughing, playing his music and making sure everyone was okay. We were just with him. Now he’s gone, and we can’t understand why they did this to him,” he said.
Shimange said his nephew was apparently trying to use wires to restart his car as it had been giving him trouble when the officer mistook him to be reaching for a weapon, and shot him in the chest through the windscreen.
An emotional Ntlwane stood helplessly looking at the body of her partner while pathologists collected him from the ground next to his car.
“I don’t understand this. He was with me five minutes before this and I was sure he’d come back. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. He was alive and well, and now I’ve just had to watch him lying there,” she said.
Tshwane Metro spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba confirmed that a 27-year-old TMPD constable was arrested and would be facing a charge of murder.