The disciplinary inquiry against a Mpumalanga policeman charged with drunken driving and attempted murder after he allegedly fired a shot at a patron during a drinking binge has started.
WO Mapulangu Cox Mabuza, 48, who is attached to Louw’s Creek police station near Barberton, has already appeared before the Barberton magistrates court on Monday and was released on warning pending his next appearance on January 5, 2012.
Police spokesperson Lt Col Leonard Hlathi said that the ostponement was aimed at giving allowance for the blood tests results to return from the forensic laboratory to form part of the evidence.
Mabuza booked a state vehicle on Saturday evening when he was expected to work night shift but he allegedly drove to a local tavern where he consumed alcohol until about 2am. “According to information at our disposal, the keys to the state vehicle fell from the member’s pocket,” Hlathi said.
“One of the patrons picked the keys up to hand them over to the member who allegedly started an argument.”
Hlathi said the patron walked out of the tavern with the apparent intention of handing over the keys to the local chairman of the community policing forum (CPF) but the cop then allegedly produced his firearm and fired a shot in his direction.
Realising that the police officer might kill him, the patron went straight to the house of the CPF chairperson and woke him up.
The chairperson, whose name could not immediately be obtained, accompanied the patron to the tavern where the marked police vehicle was still parked.
They both confronted the policeman who allegedly became even more aggressive.
The police officer allegedly wrestled the keys from the patron, jumped into the vehicle and drove away from the scene.
“I can confirm that an internal disciplinary inquiry has started.”