Cape Town – A police detective, Muzi Euchalystius Mkhize, 57, of KwaZulu-Natal reportedly dozed off during court proceedings, resulting in him mistakenly shooting and killing top Senior State Advocate Addelaid Ann Ferreira Watt, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Thursday.
Reports indicated that the incident occurred in 2019 when Whatt, 62, was prosecuting a farm robbery matter in the uMzimkhulu Regional Court where firearms and other possessions were stolen.
Mkhize pleaded guilty to culpable homicide.
According to Times Live, the firearm was brought to court as an exhibit, and because Mkhize was the investigating officer in the case, the gun was given to him.
However, while the case was still being heard, Mkhize fell asleep and was startled when the court abruptly adjourned. It was then that he lost control of the shotgun, and in an attempt to regain control, a shot was fired, striking Watt on the left hip.
Watt subsequently died due to a loss of blood.
A News24 report said that Mkhize admitted in his plea that his actions were negligent and that he never intended to shoot or injure Watt.
Prior to accepting Mkhize’s guilty plea, however, the State, represented by Senior State Advocate Naveen Sewparsat, consulted with the Investigating Officer and Watt’s daughter, both of whom agreed to the State accepting the plea.
Mkhize was then sentenced to six years in prison, five of which were suspended with conditions.
He was also ordered to pay a R20 000 fine to a shelter for abused women and children.
Picture: Facebook/ @Addelaid Ferreira Watt
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo