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Johannesburg - A 73-year-old priest “fearing for his life” shot his wife several times in the face after hearing that she had conspired to kill him.
As Albertina Mhlanga reached into her handbag during a heated argument with her husband Elias, he got scared and shot her several times.
These and other details are contained in an affidavit that was read by Elias’s lawyer, Victor Mashele, at the elderly man’s bail application at the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Elias, a priest of the International Pentecostal Church, is facing an attempted murder charge.
He is alleged to have shot his wife at Shiraz Auto, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Lenasia, on Thursday during an argument.
The father-of-seven said at his bail application on Monday that he intended to plead not guilty to the charge.
Elias said he and his wife had been separated for about six months and she had told him that she was in KwaZulu-Natal.
On Thursday, he had gone to the dealership to change the locks in his vehicle when his wife arrived with three men.
He said they intimidated him and blocked his vehicle in the parking lot, where he and his wife started arguing.
They went inside the dealership, where they were offered the boardroom to sort out their issues away from prying eyes.
Elias said one of the men who had arrived with his wife followed them inside.
When Albertina reached into her bag during their argument, Elias shot her.
“I fired at her in a way of protecting myself. I was under the impression my life was in danger. I had received a number of calls that my wife had conspired to kill me.
“I had reported her to the police but she was never arrested. I am not a violent person, I was acting in self-defence, given the history between me and my wife,” the affidavit read.
According to the investigating officer, who rushed to the scene after the shooting, police officers were unable to determine how many times Albertina had been shot, but a witness said he had heard three gunshots.
Captain Ling Mashele said Elias had asked that the police be called.
His gun - which had nine live rounds - was confiscated.
Mashele said that when he went to look at Elias’s car, he saw that a blue VW Golf that had no registration number or licence disc had blocked it.
Elias also gave the police a Nokia cellphone containing allegedly threatening SMSes.
The State did not oppose bail. In her ruling, magistrate Maggie van der Merwe said Elias was a man with no violent tendencies until now, and that said something about his character.
She granted him R2 000 bail and warned him not to interfere with the investigations or to contact his wife.
The matter will be back in court on November 28.