‘Cop’s goal was to murder wife’

Comment on this story

Copy of ca p4 Adeebah Salie_4972 DONE


Janine Manuels sister, Adeebah Salie, and her aunt, Loraine Solomons, outside court. Photo: Jason Boud

Cape Town - It has been 13 years since Janine Manuel, who was seven-months pregnant, was killed, allegedly by her husband, a Mitchells Plain police officer.

Morne Manuel, who was a sergeant in 2000, will hear his fate on Friday.

The prosecution argued in the Mitchells Plain Regional Court on Thursday that Manuel’s actions on that fateful day were “goal-directed”.

“(Manuel’s) version, that he acted involuntarily, has no basis. (Manuel’s) actions could only be those of a man who was in control,” prosecutor Mziwanele Jaxa argued.

Manuel had to unclip his service pistol from its holster, take possession of it, point it at his wife and fire the single shot.

Janine Manuel, 24, was shot in the right side of her face, above her nose. The couple’s daughter, who was four, witnessed the shooting in the bathroom of her family home.

Copy of ca p1 Morne Manuel_4962 DONE

Morne Manuel, accompanied by an unidentified woman, outside the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court. Photo: Jason Boud


According to the State, Manuel shot his wife in an argument over his being late for an ultrasound scan.

“It’s common cause there was an unharmonious atmosphere because (Manuel) was late for the ultrasound scan,” Jaxa said.

Dr Gielie van Dyk, clinical psychologist for the defence, testified that a number of “stimuli” led to the September 11, 2000, shooting.

These included Manuel’s severe emotional distress because of the history of violence in their relationship; he was subjected to verbal abuse on the day; and he was tired after a stressful day at work. Also, Janine Manuel had told him that when he returned from work she would not be there and he could get the key to the house from the neighbours.

William Booth, for Manuel, said that this was a “slap in the face” and derogatory. Booth explained that after the couple returned from the hospital they went home and when the argument continued, Manuel got into his car. As he made to leave home, his wife shouted that she was also leaving. Manuel went back inside and minutes later the shooting occurred.

Booth said that if Janine Manuel had not come outside again and scolded her husband, she might still be alive.

“The incident was brought about by years of issues and problems which culminated on that day,” Booth said.

He added, however, that his client had not had the intention to kill his wife.

If he had, he could have done so at the hospital, in the car, or when they first got home, Booth said.

Another critical point for Manuel was when his wife locked herself in the bathroom with the couple’s daughter.

This “concerned” Manuel, Booth said, because there were pills in the bathroom and Janine Manuel had attempted suicide before.

Manuel kicked down the door and tried to calm his wife by placing his hands on her upper arms.

Thereafter he heard a shot go off.

Jaxa argued that Van Dyk was biased as he had been Manuel’s personal doctor.

It was also “convenient” that Manuel remembered everything that led to the shooting and what happened afterwards, but not that he fired the shot.

Booth argued that there was a difference between mental capacity and physically committing the crime.

“At the time (Manuel) was so emotionally overwrought that it affected his mental ability and he never knew what was going on,” Booth said.

Manuel, who pleaded not guilty to murder on July 26, 2005, is continuing to work as a police officer.

He was cleared at an internal disciplinary hearing.

Magistrate Nomqondisi Jakuja is expected to give judgment on Friday.


Cape Argus

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.


Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory