Off-duty cop killed in Imbali

An off-duty policeman was shot and killed outside a popular nightclub in Imbali on Monday morning.

Constable Sandile Gwala (32), who was stationed at the Mountain Rise police station’s Crime Prevention Unit, was allegedly shot in the head by a security guard after they were embroiled in an argument outside 033 Lifestyle.

According to reports, the incident occurred at 2.15 am a few metres from the venue.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said a 34-year-old man was arrested for murder at the scene by Plessislaer police. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

The Witness was also reliably informed that the man is a bodyguard for a member of the Richmond council.

The owner of 033 Lifestyle, Bonga Ndaba, said Gwala was embroiled in a brawl outside the venue.

“The security guard is very traumatised. It seems that he tried to break up a fight between the deceased and other people.

“He was assaulted and when the deceased drew out his firearm, the security guard retorted and unfortunately fired a shot.”

Ndaba said Gwala’s death was an unfortunate incident. “We always ensure that our patrons inside the venue are safe, and this was an unfortunate incident beyond our control.”

According to a witness to the shooting, Gwala was sleeping in a car outside the venue when his friends were involved in an altercation over women.

“The security guard tried to break up the fight, but he was assaulted. One of the friends went to the car where Gwala was sleeping and woke him up.

“I think he [Gwala] came out with the intention to intervene ...”

A colleague and friend, who asked not to be named, said she was “shocked and saddened” when she learnt about Gwala’s death.

“He was a God-fearing and clever young man.

“He has a young son who is still at crèche. I remember how he would always wear his bulletproof vest whenever we attended a crime scene claiming that he did not want to die and leave his son fatherless.

“It’s just so sad and heart-breaking,” she said.

In February, Thembelani Nsele (33), a metered taxi driver, was also killed outside 033 Lifestyle after an argument over a woman. Nsele was shot in the mouth.