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‘I can help cops with dad's shooting’

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Derek Woods was shot in his car outside De La Salle Holy Cross College Primary School in Victory Park. File photo: Wesley Fester

Johannesburg - Police allegedly refused to take a statement from a Joburg man who was nearly run off the road by a gang that had shot a father outside De La Salle Holy Cross College Primary School as they fled the scene.

Derek Woods, whose daughter is in Grade 7, had allegedly been followed to the Victory Park school by three men after he had drawn a large amount of money on Thursday.

At the time, police said two members of the gang jumped out of their white Golf GTi as Woods approached a stop street just metres from the school, opened the passenger door and tried to grab the bag of money.

Woods fought back and tried to grab the bag, but the men fired at him and fled with the cash.

He unexpectedly died in hospital on Sunday night. The cause of death is still unclear.

A motorist who said the gang rammed him off the road as they fled the scene has come forward and claimed the cops at Linden police station were uninterested in his account.

“They didn’t even bother taking my name or notes or anything,” the man said.

He did not want his name to be published, but was willing to give a statement to police.

Although he did not witness the shooting, he believed he had information that could help the police.

“It wasn’t a Golf GTI, it was a pimped-up white Citi Golf with bright mag wheels and an Mpumalanga registration number.”

The man said he also saw three or four “businessmen types” in a Mercedes-Benz C200 and a Johannesburg Roads Agency bakkie chase the Golf, but was unsure of their involvement.

Police spokesman Sergeant Bonginkosi Mdletshe said he would investigate the man’s claims and this “unacceptable” behaviour by the police.

“If it’s true, action must be taken against those (officers),” he said.

Speaking on behalf of school principal Debbie Harris on Monday, a member of the school governing body, Bobby Heaney, said the school was devastated by Woods’s death.

“Several members of staff went to visit Mr Woods over the weekend and by Monday evening it had been decided that he was recovering (well) and that his daughter would come back to school this morning,” Heaney said.

He said Harris had been informed of the death by Woods’s son, a former De La Salle pupil, in the early hours of Monday morning.

At the time of publication, they were still unsure of the cause of death.

Mdletshe said he was also trying to confirm the cause of death and said no arrests had been made.

Heaney said counsellors would be available throughout this week for pupils and staff.

brendan.roane@inl.co.za

The Star


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