The police have confirmed that an initial charge of attempted murder has now been changed to murder after the Polokwane Municipal officer who was run over by an apparently enraged Polokwane Municipality employee has died.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that the Polokwane Municipality officer Rassie Smit, aged 36, died on 7 August 2020, a while after he was run over by a truck driven by Walter Madubanya on 7 August.
Smit succumbed to his injuries in hospital, confirmed Mojapelo. The initial case of attempted murder was now changed to murder with Madubanya still in custody after appearing in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on 11 August 2020.
The matter appeared before the court for a bail hearing on September 9, where Madubanya was denied bail. His case was postponed to September 16, for further police investigations.
The bizarre incident took place in the premises of the Polokwane Municipality in Ladanna where Madubanya was arrested after running over Smith according to video footage circulating on social media.
Madubanya, according to police, locked himself inside a municipality truck and began acting in a violent manner. Police maintain he was in possession of a dangerous weapon and threatened anyone who came closer. When other employees attempted to find out the reason for his actions, he started jerkingly driving the truck and in the process ran over Smit, several times, seriously injuring him.
Upon arrival, police witnessed the man driving the vehicle, which swerved and damaged seven other vehicles on the premises, including two police vehicles. Madubanya lost control of the truck and hit a wall of the building, injuring himself.
He was arrested and taken to hospital after footage shows him daring the officer to shoot him while trapped inside the truck.
Madubanya faces seven counts of malicious damage to property including the murder charge.
Police maintain the motive behind the incident remains unknown, with investigations continuing.
MUNICIPAL WORKER LOSES IT & DRIVES INTO 7 VEHICLES & 1 POLICEMAN WHO DIED IN HOSPITAL : POLOKWANE. LP. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/SKizPfAcmz
— RIOT & ATTACK info South Africa (@RiotAndAttackSA) September 9, 2020
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) September 9, 2020