The video footage of Len Cloete getting shot by a SAPS officer in Muldersdrift has proved to be divisive: Many onlookers have slammed the cops for failing to manage the situation better – but the tide may be turning on Tuesday.
WHO SHOT LEN CLOETE?
That’s because two separate organisations have issued statements that support the police officer who fired the gun at the suspect. Len Cloete took a bullet to the head, after he initially disarmed one of the SAPS officials at the scene. The cops were called to a guest house in Muldersdrift when staff reported the gym owner for his erratic behaviour.
When the police entered his room, tensions boiled over, and Cloete goaded the officers to ‘shoot him’. Sadly, one of them did – and the Pretoria-based resident fell into a coma as the result of his injuries.
MULDERSDRIFT SAPS SHOOTING: COP RECEIVES SUPPORT FOR HIS ACTIONS
But, despite Len Cloete’s life hanging in the balance, the police sergeant who pulled the trigger has – quite literally – received some back-up. Police union POPCRU issued a statement, saying that the cop in question ‘acted justifiably when his life was put in danger’. Spokesperson Richard Mamabolo went into bat for his colleague:
“The officers found their lives were in danger and acted accordingly, which must be deemed as justifiable. As a union, we stand firmly against any form of brutality, be it against civilians or law enforcement agencies. Our officers are going through the worse, and are often subjected to the abusive behaviour such portrayed in the clip by the person of interest.”
“This was a very unfortunate incident in Muldersdrift. We urge community members to cooperate with law enforcement officers as and when they carry out their duties and strive to build common working relations that ensure we collectively address the challenges around violent crimes that have marred our communities.”
MULDERSDRIFT SUSPECT ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING COPS
Meanwhile, the civil rights group Not In My Name also expressed sympathy for the officer who shot Len Cloete. In a post shared to Facebook, they branded the suspect as ‘arrogant and aggressive’, and accused him of assaulting multiple SAPS officials. They also provided a round-up of the fateful moments leading up to the incident:
“The guest was requested to leave (with a refund) which he refused to do. That is why the police were called. He was very arrogant and aggressive. He was swearing at members of staff. On arrival at Len Cloete’s room, he [allegedly] assaulted one officer by punching him, and also [allegedly] assaulted another cop in the same manner.”
“He then went to the drawer next to the bed, pulled a firearm, and cocked it – when it cocked, a bullet fell out. Cloete proceeded to grab the gun from the officer’s holster. During the process, the retention cord cut the arm of the member and the gun was in possession of the suspect. A sergeant then pulled his firearm and shot the suspect once on his head.”
Not In My Name