Parliament sends condolences to family of slain Welkom man

14 November 2018 - 16:07 By Iavan Pijoos
A screenshot from CCTV footage of a man being shot dead inside his car at a shopping centre in Welkom.
A screenshot from CCTV footage of a man being shot dead inside his car at a shopping centre in Welkom.
Image: Screenshot

Parliament's portfolio committee on mineral resources has extended its condolences to the family and colleagues of a mine safety officer who was gunned down in his car in Welkom in the Free State at the weekend.

Chairperson Sahlulele Luzipo said the committee members were concerned about the circumstances around the death of Shai Mikia Mophapi.

Luzipo said the shooting came "at the height of many criminal issues facing the sector, including illegal mining".

The 54-year-old was a chief safety officer at Sibanye-Stillwater's Beatrix operation near the towns of Welkom and Virginia.

Mophapi was shot dead at the Commando shopping centre about 5.30pm on Saturday.

In a video circulated on social media, Mohapi is seen sitting inside his blue Volkswagen Polo. Two men slowly approach, one pretending to be on the phone while the second opens the car door and fires several shots.

The men then drag the lifeless body out of the car, get in and drive off.

Mohapi was shot in the chest and left arm.

Warning – graphic content. A man was shot dead by two men in a parking lot in Welkom, Free State, on the weekend of November 10 2018. They then drove off with his car. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here:

He was declared dead at the scene. His car was later found abandoned next to Diggers Inn. 

No arrests have been made yet.

"The committee further noted with dismay the recent criminal activity in the sector, whereby a wife of a Harmony Gold executive was kidnapped with two bars of gold as ransom," Luzipo said.

Last Friday, eight people were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the wife of a plant manager at Harmony mine in the Free State town.

Free State police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said at the time that R500,000 cash was seized, as well as 21 gold nuggets (about 7kg), a gas gun and a gas pistol.

Four vehicles, an Audi A3, a Jeep Cherokee and two BMWs, were also seized.

The mine manager’s wife was abducted outside her workplace in the early hours of November 7.

Harmony spokesperson Sihle Maake said at the time that she was released unharmed.

Luzipo called on the police to "double their efforts to root out criminality in the sector".