Dad who mistook son for hijacker may face lesser charge than murder
An Ennerdale father who "mistakenly" shot dead his teenage son will know early in 2019 if he will be charged with culpable homicide instead of murder.
Sibusiso Emmanuel Tshabalala was initially charged with murder. His lawyer‚ Chewe Machaka‚ has filed representations to the national director of public prosecutions asking that the murder charge be changed to culpable homicide.
Prosecutor Tumi Maunye told the Lenasia Magistrate's Court on Tuesday that he had received a letter from the prosecutions office requesting a meeting with Machaka to discuss a possible plea agreement.
Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe expressed disappointment that the matter was not finalised on Tuesday.
"I'm very anxious to get this matter finalised. I'm disappointed. I was hoping to get the matter concluded today for you and your family to get closure‚" Van der Merwe said‚ addressing Tshabalala.
"If the parties are not ready‚ there is nothing I can do. I have been asked to postpone the matter‚" she added.
The case was postponed to February 12.
Tshabalala shot his son‚ Luyanda‚ outside the Fred Norman Secondary School in Ennerdale‚ south of Johannesburg‚ on June 5.
He had dropped Luyanda at the school for evening classes and then fell asleep in the car. During his formal bail application‚ Tshabalala claimed he mistook his son for a hijacker when the teen tried to wake him up after class.
Tshabalala‚ who has been backed by his family‚ said the shooting was accidental.
Tshabalala has been alone during his last two appearances in court.