/ 11 September 2008

Three dead following quarrel over penis size

Three men were shot dead and two others critically wounded in a Durban tavern following an argument apparently over the size of male genitals, police said on Thursday.

Superintendent Muzi Mngomezulu said the shooting took place at the Merseyside Restaurant and Bar at the Queensmead Mall in Durban’s Umbilo suburb on Wednesday night.

Five people were arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning. Two of those arrested were found in possession of firearms, which police believe were the weapons used in the shooting. All five were residents of the Phoenix area.

Two of those arrested were suspended police officers.

The argument apparently began when a patron of Indian descent made a comment about the size of a white patron’s genitals while both were at the tavern’s urinals.

An officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ”The white man went to the toilet and an Indian guy followed him. While in the urinal, the Indian man told the white man that his penis was bigger than his [that of the white man].

”The white man left the urinal and told his friends about what had happened and this is when the argument started.”

Vulgarities were exchanged and then a group of five Indian men left the restaurant. All five returned with firearms.

Mngomezulu said: ”The men opened fire and three victims aged between 30 and 55 years died on the spot. Another two were rushed to St Augustine’s Hospital in a critical condition.”

He said he believes that as the argument had developed between the two groups, it possibly became racially motivated.

However, a senior staff member at the restaurant, confirming the shooting, said that the initial argument had been over genitals.

”That’s what initiated it [the argument] and it obviously got out of hand. That’s all I’m prepared to say,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

None of the staff members or suspects was injured in the shooting. — Sapa