Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has announced that a police officer at the SAPS is currently facing charges in terms of the South African Police Service Discipline Regulations, 2006; for misusing his firearm two months ago.
According to Nhleko, the cop was referred for a disciplinary hearing which commenced on 19 September 2016; following a thorough investigation that found him guilty of firing a shot.
An investigation into the shooting by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate was launched after it emerged that the officer shot and injured a 17-year-old Northern Cape schoolboy Will Smith on his foot.
Reports had it that the Grade 9 boy, a student at Rietvale Secondary School in Ritchie was shot by the trigger-happy officer for engaging in a fight with his son.
BuzzsouthAfrica learned that the officer arrived at the Rietvale School in his private vehicle, but in uniform, and shot the child with his service pistol.
However, the cop’s blatant abuse of his authority prompted a public outcry among community members – who felt that the safety of their kid had been compromised.
They expressed sadness over the officer’s dehumanizing actions; arguing that “For a parent to come to school and beat up a learner is one thing, but this is something completely different.”
Replying to a question from DA MP Zakhele Mbhele, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko admitted that “the police officer was found to have conducted himself in an improper, disgraceful and unacceptable manner, endangered lives, and disregarded safety rules and regulations.” Hence, the reason why he must be punished severely.
The officer’s act is commonly known as officer involved shooting (OIS). And it is defined as the discharge of a firearm, which may include accidental and intentional discharges, by a police officer, whether on or off duty.