Two children have been left without a mother after she was gunned down by police on her way home from work, last week.
Phumeza Fudumele had finished her shift at Nando’s in Sunningdale and was on her way home to Dunoon with the staff transport when police opened fire on the vehicle. Ms Fudumele was shot dead and one of her colleagues wounded.
Amos Mondreki, the driver of the vehicle, a Toyota Avanza, was still in a state of shock when Tabletalk spoke to him on Friday.
Mr Mondreki said he heard a gunshot soon after he dropped one of the workers. This was followed by a series of shots forcing him to abandon the vehicle in search of help.
“Because it was so late at night I thought I was being robbed. I could not sit and wait for my death,” he said.
It was only when he returned to the vehicle that he noticed the attack was carried out by police.
“Those guys were out to kill someone. Even if it was a criminal they did not deserve that type of shooting. All the occupants in the car should have died, but through the grace of God they survived,” he said.
“I thought the police would protect me, but they are the ones that wanted to kill me,” he said.
Ms Fudumele leaves behind a six-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.
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A daily newspaper reported that her mother, Thomaza Fudemele, said she does not know how she is going to raise her grandchildren. She said her daughter loved her children and did everything for them.
“I’m angry at the police for killing my daughter, especially because she did nothing wrong,” said Ms Fudemele.
A case of murder and attempted murder is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). According to Ipid spokesman, Robbie Raburabu, the police alleged there was an ATM bombing in the Dunoon area.
“They were given a description of the vehicle used in the ATM bombing and on arrival they spotted the Avanza that the women were travelling in.
“They tried to stop it because it matched their description. They opened fire on the vehicle,” said Mr Raburabu.
He said he had no information on the kind of weapons used in the shooting or which police station the police officers were from.
On Friday Nando’s hired forensic expert David Klatzow to investigate the shooting.
Ms Fudemele started working at Nando’s in September last year.
Warrant officer Daphne O’Reilly, media liaison for the Milnerton SAPS, said although she was not able to comment on the incident, one of the officers involved is stationed at Milnerton and another is attached to the Public Order Policing Unit (POPS).
Tabletalk asked provincial police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk how many police members were involved in the shooting but he said he was not able to comment as the investigation is dealt with by Ipid.
Trudi van Niekerk, business development director for Nando’s, said Nando’s South Africa is shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Ms Fudemele.
When Tabletalk spoke to Ms Van Niekerk on Monday she said it was a travesty that so many days had passed and the police still had not made contact with Ms Fudemele’s family. “Details remain unclear. However, Nando’s senior management are working to find out exactly what happened. They are also meeting with the store franchisee and with staff and family members to console them. Counselling has been arranged, too. They remain in constant touch with police and with the injured staff member.
“Nando’s extends its deepest sympathy to the family of the staff member who died in this incident, and wishes the injured staff member a full and speedy recovery,” said Ms Van Niekerk.