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Johannesburg - Khuli Chana’s management team are “bemused” by the police’s decision to open a case of attempted murder against the musician.
Chana - real name Khulani Morule - was hit by bullet fragments last week while police were investigating the kidnapping of a Tanzanian businessman, and allegedly identified his car as being similar to one reported in the incident.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting are still unclear, as Chana claimed police had not flagged him down to stop and opened fire without warning, while witnesses said he tried to run down officers at a roadblock.
Police said that, based on CCTV footage and witness statements, they decided to open a case of attempted murder against Chana on Friday.
“The evidence obtained corroborates the claim of police officers at the scene that, instead of stopping, the driver of the BMW tried to run over the uniformed police officers who flagged him down to stop,” said Brigadier Neville Malila.
“After the investigation, it will be presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision (on whether to charge Chana).”
But Chana’s manager, Refiloe Ramogase, has said the award-winning musician’s team are “bemused” by this news. “For the record, Khuli is innocent of any crime and is the victim in this matter. It is indeed sad that the SAPS have sought to paint him as a perpetrator who was the author of his own misfortune,” Ramogase said.
Eric Bryer, the lawyer of one of the witnesses to the incident, said his client would be willing to give evidence in court that Chana had tried to run over officers at a roadblock.
But Chana’s lawyer, Cliff Alexander, said the main issue was that of police negligence.
“Whether or not Khuli was or wasn’t flagged down by unknown people still does not justify the SAPS having fired shots at him. They have certainly exceeded the bounds as contained in section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act,” Alexander said in a statement issued by Ramogase.
Section 49 of the act details the allowed use of force in arresting a fleeing suspect or one who is resisting arrest.