Soldier shoots man who ’tried to disarm him’
Polokwane – Limpopo police have opened a case of attempted murder against a soldier who allegedly shot a man who is believed to have been trying to disarm him at the time.
The incident happened on Thursday in Mogwadi, Limpopo. It is alleged that the incident was sparked by the 27-year-old man’s failure to wear a mask and later getting into a scuffle with the soldier over the matter.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said the soldiers were on duty in Mogwadi when a group of civilians threatened to disarm one of the officers.
“A shot went off during the quarrel and injured an adult male in his right thigh.
“The injured man was attended to by the local doctor and was later transferred to Helen Franz hospital.
“A case of attempted murder was opened at Mogwadi police station,” the SANDF said.
Spokesperson for the Limpopo police said the man was shot at a local shopping complex after midday.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the soldiers were reportedly on duty monitoring Covid-19 compliance in the area when they approached a group of people who were not wearing masks.
“When asked why they were not wearing masks, an argument allegedly ensued and one of the soldiers shot the victim.
“The injured victim was taken to the local hospital where he is receiving medical attention.
“The soldier, aged 29, was arrested and charged with attempted murder,” Mojapelo said.
He was expected to appear at the Morebeng Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
In July, a soldier shot and killed an armed civilian in Chochocho Village, near Acornhoek, Mpumlanga. The man is believed to have been one of the people meting out mob justice against someone accused of being a criminal.
The shooting is understood to have taken place after the crowd turned their anger on soldiers and police officers who had arrived at the scene to disperse the crowd.
"During an attempt to disperse community members and calm the situation, the SAPS and SANDF were attacked by community members resulting in one member of the SANDF being stabbed with a screwdriver.
"Another person from the community who alighted from car carrying a firearm was subsequently shot during the incident. The SAPS is investigating the incident," the SANDF said at the time.