Pretoria - A former trainer at the SAPS dog unit is still suffering from a headache caused by a party more than six years ago, when he - in a drunken brawl - randomly fired shots with his service pistol.

Ntsikuwa Thloubatla, now an officer at the Roodeplaat dog school, on Wednesday told the Pretoria Regional court he needed time to “refresh his memory” after he had previously presented contradicting evidence about the incident in which he almost killed four colleagues.

Thloubatla faces 11 charges, including four of attempted murder and handling a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Prosecutor Heinrich Scholtz said it would be better for all parties if his testimony was transcribed before the trial continued. The hearing was adjourned until next month.

According to evidence, Thlou-batla lived at the Atteridgeville dog training unit’s base during November 2006. At the time he was training dogs.

Warrant Officer Theo Claassen has testified that he and three colleagues, Sergeant Mohammed Rajak, Warrant Officer Christo van Wyngaard and Captain Frank Monaisa, arrived at the unit’s base and found a “massive” party under way.

They were unarmed and casually dressed. They were attending to a complaint of noise, which was upsetting the dogs. He could smell alcohol, empty beer bottles were strewn all over, and the music was blaring, he said. The accused was not happy to see his colleagues and told them to leave.

Despite their being professional, Thloubatla argued with them and pulled out a 9mm pistol. “When I saw his pistol, I knew there was trouble.”

The court heard that Thloubatla fired at his four colleagues, got into a car and sped off. No one was injured. Thloubatla was later found, but could not explain his erratic behaviour. He is out on warning.

Pretoria News