A father who allegedly accidentally shot dead his son at a
Johannesburg school wept‚ holding his head in his hands‚ as he faced a charge of murder on Thursday.
Emanuel Tshabalala‚ 51‚ dressed in jeans and a purple hoodie‚ had tears streaming down his face when he applied for bail in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court‚ saying he wanted to bury his son.
The state did not oppose bail and the court took into account the fact that he had handed himself over and had cooperated fully with the police.
Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe said: “I can only describe this incident as a tragedy.”
Tshabalala was sleeping in his car after dropping off his 16-year-old son‚ Luyanda Themba Tshabalala‚ for evening classes on Tuesday.
He was woken by knocking on the window and‚ thinking he was in danger‚ discharged his firearm.
He said in an affidavit presented to court that after firing the weapon‚ Luyanda said: “Daddy‚ it’s me”.
He got out of the vehicle‚ went to his son and then rushed his son to get medical help but there was nothing that could be done to save his life.
“This is my first accident and a painful one‚” he tearfully told the court. He said the incident would haunt him for the rest of his life.
He is employed as a security officer at the vehicle unit of the South African Police Services in Krugersdorp.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was in court to listen to proceedings. “We cannot go into circumstances that led into the death. We respect the justice system. We will continue to support the family and the learners‚” said Lesufi.