Mysterious death of gunman who shot Phiri baffles police

Johannesburg – Two conflicting medical reports into the death of the man who shot legendary football icon Maimane Phiri have left the police questioning whether he committed suicide or was murdered during the dramatic shootout in Alexandra township in December.

Sunday World can reveal that a medical report sent to the detectives by the Edenvale Hospital medical team that examined Olebogeng Mokhine’s body stated that he had suffered three gunshot wounds.

This resulted in the police ruling out the possibility that Mokhine had committed suicide by turning the gun on himself after shooting Maimane and fatally wounding his girlfriend’s brother.

But the report was torpedoed by a pleminary autopsy compiled by a pathologist from the Germiston government mortuary, which stated that Mokhine had committed suicide by using a high-calibre firearm.

In a bid to unravel the mystery, police have sent Mokhine’s firearm for ballistic tests and are now waiting with bated breath for the results, which will determine whether he committed suicide.

The explosive titbits were revealed by two detectives who are close to the investigation.

One of the detectives, who did not want to be named, said Mokhine, who was staying in a rented property in Kelvin, had shot Phiri in the hands and fatally shot his girlfriend’s brother at the retired footie’s tavern in Alexandra before turning the gun on himself.

This after arguing about the money they won at a soccer tournament in Rustenburg.

Phiri was rushed to hospital where he was treated and discharged a few weeks later.

Phiri is currently recuperating at home.

After interviewing potential witnesses, police opened a case of attempted murder for Phiri, murder for the woman’s brother and an  inquest docket for
Mokhine’s death.

The detective said to their shock, a medical report from the hospital revealed that Mokhine  had suffered three gunshot wounds to the head.

“When the police arrived at the scene, Mokhine was already transported to the hospital.

“The detective went to the hospital to examine the body and  afterwards they were given a report, which stated that Mokhine’s body had three gunshot wounds,” said the detective.

The cop said the police immediately phoned Mokhine’s family and asked them to postpone his funeral by a week because they wanted  to conduct further investigations as they believed he could have been murdered.

“A person who commits suicide by shooting themselves will not shoot themselves three times. That is why his family was phoned and asked to delay the funeral, so we could do further investigations,” said the police officer.

The cop’s version was corroborated by another one.

“We believed based on the hospital report that he was murdered,” said the officer.

The officer said what did not make sense was that Mokhine had not been wounded during the shootout, as previously claimed.

Mokhine had fled the crime scene after shooting Phiri and his girlfriend’s brother, the cop said.

“He was found dead three streets away from Phiri’s tavern. The suspicion was that he was murdered.

“So we were planning to obtain fresh statements from the witnesses and charge with perjury and defeating the ends of justice those who misled the police. But that might change as a result of the pathologist’s post-mortem.

“The whole thing doesn’t make sense.

“Now what are we going to tell his family?” asked the officer.

The cop said the pathologist necropsy stated Mokhine, who was buried in Jericho near Brits in North West, had shot himself behind the ear with a high-calibre firearm and the bullet had fragmented and exited from different points in the head.

“That looked like gunshot wounds fr. That is why the hospital medical team might have mistaken them for gunshot wounds,” said the cop.

Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said: “Police arestill waiting for postmortem results, for now police have opened an inquest docket.”

Also read: Ex-Bafana star Maimane Phiri pens down appreciation message

Ex-Bafana star Maimane Phiri recovering well in hospital

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