'Lord, please let him live': Wife distraught at shooting of husband in guest lodge fracas
As gym owner Len Cloete lies on life support in hospital, his wife Chantal has hired a private investigation company to look into events leading up to him being shot, allegedly by a police officer.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has also launched an investigation into the circumstances around the shooting on Saturday night at a Muldersdrift lodge on the West Rand in Gauteng.
Investigator Cecil Benade from Mike Bolhuis' Specialised Security Services said on Tuesday that Cloete was still in a coma in ICU but stable after the bleeding in his brain stopped.
Support award-winning journalism. Subscribe to the Sunday Times>>
“The investigation is at a sensitive stage. We have managed to open a case of attempted murder at the Muldersdrift police station.”
He said they were in the early stages of the investigation to determine if police had proper cause to shoot Cloete.
Benade believes the family called him because they want an independent investigation into events leading up to the altercation.
In a widely shared video, an irate Cloete confronted police who were on either side of a doorway. He was in the nude but put on underwear and asked for his gun. The gun was waved around. While arguing with police, Cloete appeared to cock the gun and a bullet fell to the floor. He picked it up and his gun was placed outside the view of the camera.
Cloete then advanced towards a female officer, who warned him that bringing out the weapon would lead to a dangerous situation.
He disarmed the policewoman while shouting “shoot me, shoot me” and faced a second officer who had his gun raised towards the now-armed Cloete. The officer fired and Cloete fell to the ground.
Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said the incident occurred at 00.25am on Saturday and Cloete was in possession of two firearms when he was shot.
“I'm not exactly sure what led up to the incident,” Benade said, “but I know that the quarrel between staff and Cloete started when they booked into the [Misty Hills] hotel.”
“From the beginning there was a quarrel. They left to have supper at a different place and said they would return when the issue was sorted because 'things were not done as they would like it to be'.
“When they got back the argument continued and the staff asked them to leave. They did not, so the Misty Hills security were called.” Then the police were called.
Cloete's wife Chantal, who can be heard on the video, posted on her Facebook page that she was overwhelmed and that their children were keeping her husband's side of the bed warm and that they loved and missed him.
The couple had just celebrated their five-year anniversary.
On Monday she posted a message about her love for him. Part of it read:
“My best friend my husband
I miss how you tell me every night how much you love us ...
... The house is so empty.
I feel so lost without you.
I was with you 24 hours every day.
Now I am lost!
I see you everywhere in the house.
I am waiting for you my husband.
You are our hero!
You are my “soul mate” I can't without you.
You must fight for us all your seven kids.
I wish I could just call you and say sleep well my angel see you tomorrow.
I / We love you unbelievably much.
Abba Father, please whisper the words in his ears tonight.”
Trainers at Cloete's VO2 Max gym in Pretoria said they were used to seeing him at the gym every day and that his absence felt unusual.
Misty Hills management were in a meeting when TimesLIVE called. Staff said they had not yet received counselling after the traumatic incident.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.