Emmanuel Sibusiso Tshabalala at the Lenasia Magistrate's Court. FILE PHOTO: Lindi Masinga/ANA

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday welcomed the 10 years suspended sentence of Emmanuel Tshabalala who accidentally shot and killed his son in Ennerdale last year.

"The NPA is satisfied that the sentence considered the seriousness of the offence, the interest of justice and that of society as well as the personal circumstances of the accused and therefore regards the sentence as just and fair," NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.

Tshabalala accidentally shot and killed his son, Luyanda, on the premises of Fred Norman Secondary School in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, on 5 June, when he thought he was being hijacked.

"The father who told court that he mistakenly shot his biological son at Fred Norman High School in Ennerdale was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for five years by the Lenasia regional court today, 4 June 2019."

Tshabalala said he had taken his son for extra lessons at the school and while waiting for him, he fell asleep in his vehicle. He later woke up to a knock on the drivers’ window and out of fear that he was being hijacked, Tshabalala shot at the person knocking on the window, only to realise later that he had shot his own son.

Mjonondwane said Tshabalala ,51, pleaded guilty and entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the state in terms of section 105 A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and was convicted accordingly on Tueaday.

"Deputy director of public prosecutions, Advocate Riegal Du Toit entered into the plea and sentence agreement with the view of securing a sentence that has reasonable prospects of passing judicial muster," she said.

"Duly representing the state, junior state Advocate Nerissa Muller asked the court to consider that all pre-requisites were met and the accused has shown remorse by pleading guilty and had, at all times, co-operated with law enforcement."

The NPA said the court ruled that the plea and sentence agreement was just, as it met the basic elements as stipulated in the Act.

"The court found that the state and the defence entered the negotiations in good faith with the aim of ensuring that justice prevails. The court was satisfied that consultations with the mother of the deceased, the investigation officer and the defence were conducted by the prosecutor, wherein the accused was notified of their rights as per standard requirements of a plea and sentence agreement."

"The court then confirmed the sentence as proposed in the plea and sentence agreement and sentenced Tshabalala to 10 years, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of the same offence. Tshabalala was further declared unfit to possess a firearm."

African News Agency (ANA)