A Durban police officer was left fighting for his life after what is believed to have been a freak accident in which his partner shot him, allegedly by mistake, at the weekend.
According to a source with knowledge of the incident, the two officers were investigating a complaint at the time.
One of them got out of the vehicle and the other remained inside.
When the one who had gotten out returned, his partner allegedly shot him in the chest thinking he was a hijacker.
He was taken to Hillcrest Private Hospital.
Yesterday, a spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Moses Dlamini, said the incident had been reported to his offices.
“It is alleged that two members from the Hillcrest detectives went to Shongweni, looking for suspects. One member left to verify an address and another member remained behind inside the vehicle,” Dlamini said, “When the member who had gone to verify the address came back, it is alleged that the member who was inside the vehicle shot his crew thinking that he was being hijacked.”
Dlamini said the policeman was shot once in the chest and was taken to hospital.
Ipid had requested a written report and once this was received, they would take over the investigation, Dlamini said.
Last year, Sergeant Malcolm Goodwin – a member of the Flying Squad’s collision unit – was killed in another freak accident, with one of his fellow officers allegedly shooting him by mistake during a first responders SWAT refresher course for the Flying Squad and K9 units in Pietermaritzburg.
In respect of the directorate’s investigations into Goodwin’s death, Dlamini said these were complete and the matter had already been taken to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision to be made on whether or not to prosecute.
“The DPP made a decision for the suspect to be charged with murder. A summons has already been issued and the suspect is to be charged accordingly,” he said.