Mondays are supposed to be blue, but waking up to a Facebook status update about Kuli Chana being shot by police officers, “by mistake,” makes it seem that much more bleak. Controversy has been the thorn in the side of the SAPS for years now – exacerbated by the Marikana incident last year where miners were shot and killed at a protest.
When news on Kuli Chana’s shooting landed on social sites it didn’t take long for people to passionately express their scorn for the Police in SA. Notwithstanding the fact that people didn’t have all the facts at the time. On the same day SABC 3 News asked – as if to fuel the public’s frustration over the hip hop artist’s ill fate – “What would you do if you were stopped by policemen in an unmarked car?” Considering the spate of crime committed by criminals posing as officers in the country? I for one would have hit the accelerator aggressively and never looked back. My first thought would have been, “These are criminals who are trying to hijack me!”
Unless the police found a drug stash in Chana’s car after the incident, I’d say he has more than enough grounds to not only open a case of attempted murder, but to sue the SAPS for damages to his car, body and psychology.
Facts surrounding the incident are still trickling in, but before we fully condemn the police action here, it would help to actually look at the information at the public’s disposal so far:
- Chana bought coffee at a service station and got into his car in Midrand on 28 October past midnight. He then drove off at about 40km/hr – according to Chana’s lawyer, his tracking system should support this fact.
- He heard gunshots as he drove off and he took his hand off the steering wheel as he thought it was an attempt to hijack him. The car subsequently reared off the road.
- Police were tracking a kidnapper (we now know that said kidnapper is actually a police officer who demanded R100 000 ransom for a businessman whose house was robbed on Sunday. The officer was arrested and will appear in court today (Wednesday).
- Vehicle descriptions: Sedan colours, sky blue (kidnapper’s car) and grey (Chana’s car), at that time of night could easily be confused.
- New twist in the story according to Eye Witness News: Witnesses say that police actually fired warning shots before shooting Chana.
Live’s Social Media Editor, Abel Dantyi didn’t pull any punches when voicing his discontent over the incident:
“What the hell is going on with SA police? One thing I don’t understand about Kuli Chana being shot by police is that Khuli didn’t seem to pose as the threat. He didn’t shoot back when the police officers were having a field day shooting his BMW. Questions that still linger in my head… If we don’t trust police officers, who can we trust? Did the police follow proper procedure before they shot Khuli Chana’s vehicle or were they wrongly using former Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele’s “Shoot to Kill” method, where in this case, the rapper didn’t shoot the police, he was just travelling to a performance. According to the South African Police Services website, one of their vision is: To create safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa. I don’t see them living that vision!”
In other news, it hasn’t been a positive week for hip hop indeed. Robo The Technician one of SA’s most respected underground rappers has died after heart failure on Saturday.
Images: Andy Mkosi, (Iapetus Facebook profile)
Sources: eNCA, Eye Witness News