The video doing the rounds on social media of a man being shot in the head following a verbal altercation with police officers at a lodge in Muldersdrift has had South Africans sharing their opinions on how SAPS handles confrontational situations.
However, a former Durban police officer-turned-private-investigator, Brad Nathanson, said the situation could’ve been handled differently, but explains that he would have reacted the same way officers did. The man identified as Len Cloete is currently in a coma following the incident.
Nathanson said in a detailed Facebook post that,” I am an ex-policeman and I can tell you this and that is that if I were on the scene that day, the moment that the suspect shouted Waar is my gun? (where is my gun).”
“I would have drawn my weapon and been prepared for the suspect no matter what he went to fetch. The moment I saw a gun in his hand I would have warned him verbally and if he raised that firearm.
“I would have shot him, likely in the head, so as to immobilize him and so as to protect myself from being shot along with my colleagues,” the post read.
According to Nathanson, from the video, it’s obvious that the suspect was enraged and likely on one or another substance, and faced six police officers and at least two security guards but showed no respect for authority.
“To the contrary, out of the video, it is alleged that he punched two of the members of the SAPS in the face, prior to the altercation that lead to him being shot.
He indicated that there was no way for police to have fired a warning shot as they were in one room of the guest house.
“The ricochet from a warning shot may have been fatal to one of the SAPS members whether fired into the floor or into the ceiling. It has also been suggested that police should have shot the suspect in the foot.
“How was this then going to stop him from pulling the trigger of the pistol that he had forcibly and unlawfully removed from a SAPS member?” Nathanson explained.
Nathanson added that the video clip is also not a true reflection of the events because the public cannot see what happened before the incident that was recorded on a mobile phone.
“For me, the police shot the suspect too late and by missing their first opportunity, allowed the second controversial shooting to occur. Whether you agree with the shooting or not, the questions beg “Why did the suspect think that he could get away with disarming a uniformed member of the SAPS who was only there to do her job and what did he intend to do with the weapon?” Nathanson said.
Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate confirmed that it has launched an investigation into the matter.
Picture: Screenshot from video