A LIMPOPO traffic officer who allegedly opened fire on three teenage girls, wounding one of them, has been released on R1 000 bail by the Polokwane Magistrate Court.
Costa Masoga appeared in court this morning on charges of attempted murder in connection with the incident that took place at Westenburg Township in Polokwane last week.
Magistrate Janine Ungerer granted Masoga bail and postponed the matter to the 23 August to allow the police to conduct further investigations.
According to Limpopo provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, the three girls – aged 13, 15 and 17 – were walking along the street when the off duty traffic officer allegedly insulted them.
“An exchange of words ensued between the man and the youngsters until he chased them with his motor vehicle and the suspect apparently fired several shot in the direction of the children injuring the 17 year old girl in the process,” said Ngoepe.
Ngoepe says the police and the Medical Emergency services were summoned to the scene after the shooting incident.
He was immediately arrested and disarmed of his private firearm. The victim was rushed to the local hospital where she was treated and is recuperating at home.
Ngoepe says police investigations are still being conducted to establish the circumstances of the shooting. He warned gun owners to be more responsible.
“Legal gun owners are reminded to always comply with the provisions of the firearm Controls Act. Any contravention of this Act may result in the owner being declared unfit to possess a firearm in addition to the criminal charges that will be pressed against the individual,” he said.
Masoga, an officer at the Polokwane Municipal Traffic Police Department, is also facing an internal disciplinary process. Spokesman for the Polokwane Municipality, Tshediso Mothapo says they view the matter in a serious light and will start internal processes.