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Shooting victim fears for his life


Following last week’s report about an incident off an intersection along the R81 on the outskirts of Polokwane, initial information obtained from an eye witness on the scene is contradictory to later confirmation.
In its breaking news story on observer.co.za last Thursday, Polokwane Observer reported that the incident occurred in the parking lot of an upmarket retail hub. The management of the mall, however, pointed out that the incident did not occur on their premises, but opposite the road on the other side of the R81.
The initial information about the point of impact reflected by the eyewitness, however, posed to be contradictory from what he said in a follow-up interview upon verification. At first he told Polokwane Observer that he and his wife was on their way to the centre to do shopping when the shooting incident happened. He said he was on his way to the shopping centre and when entering the parking area he saw a man being shot right in front of him. He said the man was shot in the head and he believed him to be dead.
After talking to him again it was established that the man actually was shot opposite the entrance to the parking area of the centre. Confusion also ensued as the Police first reported that the man was shot in the head but later it was established that he was shot in the right hip. “After we finished our shopping we went back to our car and saw people running into the parking area of the mall and we heard shots. We took cover behind a bakkie and asked a member of the security staff what was happening. He told us the taxi operators were shooting at the Police, ” he said. The couple then went to a nearby restaurant, waiting to go home as the road was blockaded at that stage.
In the meantime Polokwane Observer spoke to Mankweng Taxi Association Rank Manager Ben Nonyana, who was shot in the right hip during the incident. In the interview upon his discharge from hospital, Nonyana said he was no longer feeling safe and is fearing for his life. “It is not the first the time he attempts to kill me. In February this year at an intersection in Mankweng he attempted to shoot me and he was arrested and given bail. I feel the Police could have done better with the case,” Nonyana said.
Elaborating on last Thursday’s incident, Nonyana said he was with fellow members inside a taxi along the R81 when the drivers of two vehicles branded with Seshego Taxi Association corporate signage stopped at the roadside and started shouting at them. “They were 10 men armed with guns from Seshego Taxi Association and they beat us up and all of a sudden they fired gun shots. We tried to fight back. They shot me in the right hip and they left,” recalls Nonyana.
“We don’t know why they are fighting with us because we are not fighting with them”.
Chairperson of Mankweng Taxing Association, Phillip Molepo said they want the Provincial Police Commissioner to revisit the case.
“One suspect was arrested and he was only given a mere R1 000 bail and the rest were let free. We want the Police Commissioner to intervene because it is not we are unable to do the same, we can but we respect the law,” Molepo said.
By the time of going to print Spokesperson for Mankweng Police Station, Matimba Maluluke could not confirm the February incident.
Polokwane Police Head of Communication Ntobeng Phala confirmed that Johannes Modiba was arrested on Friday on a charge of attempted murder. “Modiba appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he was released on bail of R1 000. He will appear in court again on 8 September,” Phala said.
Seshego Taxi Association Spokesperson Okie Ramaoka said he was advised not to comment.