ANC bigwig Arthur Zwane must be breathing a sigh of relief now that he is off the hook for an attempted murder case in which he was accused of shooting a security guard following an altercation over hand sanitiser.
But the security guard – who still hasn’t been able to return to work, more than six months on – is livid.
“I’m not happy about this,” 40-year-old Vincent Shabalala told The Citizen yesterday, insisting justice had not been served.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday confirmed the state had withdrawn the charges against Zwane – formerly the regional chair of the ANC in eMalahleni – as well as those against his co-accused in the case, Bongani Ngubeni and Sibusiso Msibi.
The NPA said two cases had in fact emerged from the incident and that it had decided not to prosecute either. The details around the second case were, however, not made available.
“There were two dockets that arose from the incident. After a careful consideration of all the facts in both the dockets, there was insufficient evidence to prosecute. As a result, the prosecution declined to prosecute in both matters,” the director of public prosecutions in the province, advocate Elaine Zungu, said.
The three were arrested in connection with a shooting incident at Halfway Hardware store in the township of Osizweni, in Newcastle, in November.
It was alleged at the time that Shabalala had been stationed at the entrance to the store and that when he had asked the trio to sanitise their hands, they had refused. A fight had ensued and Shabalala was shot in the stomach and the leg.
“Three men arrived at the hardware shop and they were met by a security guard at the gate who requested them to sanitise as per the Disaster Management Act. They were uncooperative and refused to sanitise.
“A fight started amongst them as a result and the complainant struck one suspect with a pick handle,” SA Police Service KZN spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said in a statement in November.
“The complainant was shot and injured by the suspects. He was rushed to Madadeni Hospital and he was admitted”.
Shabalala said he had not been able to return to work since being shot and that he was struggling to put food on the table for his four children – three of whom are minors. He was adamant the law had not properly taken its course.
“These people tried to kill me,” he insisted. Zwane was contacted for comment yesterday and said he would provide a statement today