The case against police constables, Mduduzi Mfundisi Nzuza and Sam Baloyi, accused of shooting rapper Khulani Morule, known as Khuli Chana, was withdrawn on Wednesday morning. The police officers who shot and wounded Chana hugged him and apologised outside the Randburg magistrate’s court.
“The NDPP [National Director of Public Prosecutions] received a letter from the defence and after deliberations decided that the matter be withdrawn,” said prosecutor Rassie Erasmus from the office of the NDPP.
Nzuza and Baloyi faced charges of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger and negligent use of a firearm. Both were out on bail.
The two apologised to Chana outside court. “We apologise to Khuli and are sorry he was injured in a case of mistaken identity,” Nzuza said. The constables then exchanged hugs with Chana.
The officers allegedly shot at the award-winning musician’s car when he failed to stop at a roadblock they had set up at a petrol station on the N1 in Midrand on October 28. Chana was wounded in the hand and back.
The matter was settled out of court, lawyers said.
‘Sanity has prevailed‘
“Sanity has prevailed. We asked for a public apology and a settlement in October 2013 … we had not incurred any expenses then,” said Chana’s lawyer Cliff Alexander.
“Now we’re receiving what we asked for and are happy with the outcome.”
Alexander would not disclose the settlement amount, but eNCA reported in February that the rapper had filed a notice that he would sue the police for R2.7-million.
Chana arrived in court on Tuesday and listened to proceedings from the public gallery.
At the time of the shooting, police were searching for a group of men who had kidnapped a Bedfordview businessperson. The ransom money was to have been left at the petrol station. The officers apparently mistook Chana’s car for that of the kidnappers.
A police officer has since been arrested and charged with the kidnapping.
‘I am happy’
The musician said he was happy the matter was over.
“I am happy I got my apology and commend everyone that made this possible … this was a huge interruption in my life and it gave me nightmares,” he said.
“I think I can start having fun again, make hit songs and raise my daughter.”
He said not all police officers are bad. “I commend all the good officers out there who are serving communities and doing a good job.”
As part of the agreement, Nzuza and Baloyi would undergo retraining on the handling and use of firearms, their lawyer Tuelo Thomas said. – Additional reporting by Sapa