According to Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, the Limpopo police spokesperson, the incident took place just after midnight on Friday. Upon receiving a report, the police discovered four individuals with gunshot wounds at the scene.
Argument Escalates Into Tragedy
Tragedy struck when a heated argument escalated between the 37-year-old sergeant, identified as Sukani Page Khosa, and patrons at the tavern, including the now-deceased 26-year-old Smangaliso Hlungwani. In a shocking turn of events, the officer drew his firearm and fired multiple shots at the individuals involved in the dispute.
Mashaba explained that one victim, Smangaliso Hlungwani, was pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were rushed to a local hospital for medical attention. The sergeant, after the shooting, fled the scene with some customers attempting to apprehend him. Subsequent investigations unveiled that the suspect returned to his residence in the same village, where he took his own life, ending the tragic incident.
Legal Ramifications and Condemnation
The police have opened a case involving charges of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and an inquest into the incident. Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe expressed condemnation for the unexpected turn of events, emphasizing that law enforcement officers must conduct themselves responsibly, both on and off duty.
“This is an unexpected incident, wherein our police officer is the prime suspect instead of servicing communities during this festive period,” remarked Hadebe. “The law enforcers should conduct themselves accordingly and act within the framework of the law on and off their duties without being trigger-happy individuals,” she added.
The investigation into the tragic incident continues as the community grapples with the shock of the events that transpired at the N’wadzekudzeku village tavern.