Court told of the night cop died

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Cape Town - A Constantia man who allegedly shot and killed a police officer responding to a burglary at his home was badly injured during the incident and thought he was dying, the Wynberg Regional Court heard.

This was the evidence of police reservist Captain Richard McClarty, who also responded to the burglary on August 29, 2009.

Sean Meuwese has been charged with murder for allegedly killing a uniformed police officer.

Meuwese has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Constable Pheelo Lucas Masiu and to a charge of pointing a firearm at another police officer at the scene.

Police officers responded to a break-in at Meuwes’s home after his friend called the police at his request.

The court was told that Meuwese heard a noise and went to check upstairs, armed with his licensed firearm. A scuffle between him and the intruder took place.

Soon afterwards, the police arrived and headed upstairs. A shot went off, killing Masiu. Three more shots went off, hitting Meuwese.

It will be Meuwese’s defence that an intruder fired the fatal shot during the scuffle.

McClarty testified that he and two other police officers went to the scene. Once there, the two ran into the house and McClarty was left outside the premises when the automatic gate closed.

After hearing shots, he entered the house and found Masiu dead inside. Meuwese was lying a few metres from the officer. He had also been shot.

McClarty testified that Meuwese was in a bad condition.

“I saw a man lying on the floor in the lounge area. I dragged the man into the TV room to get him out of the way. He was cold, sweating and bleeding profusely… he just said to me, ‘I’m dying’,” McClarty testified.

Meuwese was charged with the officer’s murder, but charges were provisionally withdrawn because he was fighting for his life in hospital.

He has since been recharged, and denied that he fired the fatal shot at the officer.

Meuwese’s lawyer, William Booth, put it to McClarty that the robbers - who were never found - could have entered and left the premises through a number of exit points. McClarty said it was possible. Meuwese is due back in court on October 19.

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Cape Argus

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