Cape Town 120715- Theodora Nobantu Stephen ( neighbour) and Cynthia Mbokweni ( mother of Sakhiwo) cries after his son was shot by his friend last night in Philipi. Sakhiwo Njokweni was killed in his shack by his friend( who is a police) who fired the shots while sleeping. The friend has been arrested. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Nomtando/Argus

A night out ended in tragedy when an off-duty police officer allegedly shot and killed a 23-year-old manwho was sleeping.

Sakhiwo Njokweni, of Philippi, was shot once in the headin his shack after a night of drinking at a tavern on Saturday.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said a 24-year-old off-duty police constable stationed at the Bellville police station was arrested and charged with the murder.

He said the two men knew each other.

“At around 10pm they went home, where the suspect handled his official firearm… The circumstances are being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.”

A witness, who asked not to be named, said that he, Njokweni and a policeman went to a tavern in Nyanga on Saturday night.

“We were drinking, chatting and just chilling until about 7pm. I went to the toilet and when I came back Njokweni wasn’t there any more.”

A few hours later, he and the policeman left to look for Njokweni.

Along the way, the policeman pulled out his service pistol and started firing shots randomly in the air and at people’s feet.

The witness said that when they got to Njokweni’s house, he was in bed.

“(The policeman) asked him why he left without telling us he was going home, and Njokweni just mumbled that he was drunk and needed to sleep.

“(The policeman) then pulled out his gun and told him to wake up or he will shoot. Njokweni laughed and said he is not afraid of him and his gun.

“While I was reading a prayer from a poster above his bed, (the policeman) cocked his gun and shot Njokweni once in the head… I ran out of there. I don’t know why he shot him as there was never an argument between them,” he said.

When the Cape Argus visited the house o Sunday, Njokweni’s mother, Cynthia, 59, was still trying to come to terms with the incident.

“I am still in shock and can’t believe my son won’t wake up any more. I was lying in bed when I heard a gunshot… when I got to his room he was lying in bed with his eyes wide open… there was blood everywhere,” she said.

She said the police constable had slept over in her son’s room a few times after a night of drinking.

“How can someone who is meant to protect the community do such a thing? “I don’t know why he killed my son this way… who do we trust if we can’t trust the police?”

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Cape Argus