A student police constable is fighting for her life after she was shot in the stomach, allegedly by her partner – also a police officer.
Family members of Thabisa Tutuwana, 28, say her common-law husband constable Mbulelo Nyengane told police she was a victim of a hijacking on the N2 early on Sunday morning.
But detectives became suspicious when they realised her silver-grey VW Jetta, cellphone and service pistol were not missing.
Police arrested Nyengane hours later when he tried to visit her at Groote Schuur Hospital.
Nyengane is stationed at Mowbray Police Station, while Thabisa has been a student constable for two years at Mitchell’s Plain Police Station.
Provincial Police say the Independent Police Investigation Department has been handed the case.
Meanwhile, doctors are preparing to operate on Thabisa.
The couple has a seven-month-old son, Alakhe, while Thabisa has a seven-year-old girl, Lilitha, from another man.
The couple live together in Phase 2 in Heinz Park.
Thabisa’s distraught parents Maboy Tutane and Greta Tutwana say they didn’t know what to expect when they got a call to go to the hospital.
“They said the bullet went through her stomach,” says her dad.
Maboy says he did not suspect Nyengane and met with the couple the day before the tragedy.
“Thabisa came home from work the afternoon and then I left them at 7pm and there was no problem,” says Maboy.
Greta explains Nyengane joined them at the hospital to visit Thabisa when he was arrested on Sunday morning.
She says Nyengane allegedly told police Thabisa had been hijacked.
“He told police she had been hijacked on the N2 somewhere but her car, gun and cellphone were not missing and I think that is when they suspected him,” she says.
“He came to the hospital and then the police arrested him.”
Greta says the family respected Nyengane because he was always decent and respectable.
“We didn’t know it was him who shot her and we don’t even know where the shooting took place and why,” she says.
“When they had arguments, he would ask us to help them solve it and he was never abusive.”
Greta says Thabisa is managing to speak and has injuries to her face and hand.
Thabisa’s cousin, Luleka Landena, 32, says the family is shocked.
Speaking of Nyengane, she says: “He is a friendly man.”
* This article was published in the Daily Voice