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Court hears how visit to doctor for stomach ache ended in death for Mthokozisi Ntumba

18 January 2022 - 12:04
An officer near the body of Mthokozisi Ntumba, who was shot dead during student protests in Braamfontein. File photo.
An officer near the body of Mthokozisi Ntumba, who was shot dead during student protests in Braamfontein. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy/Sunday Times

Mthokozisi Ntumba had gone to see a doctor in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, for treatment for a stomach ache on the day he was allegedly shot dead by police officers.

Ntumba, 35, died on the sidelines of student protests in Braamfontein in March 2021. He was shot shortly after leaving the doctor’s appointment.

The father of four worked at the department of human settlements in Tshwane and was responsible for about 20 projects in the city.

Tshepisho Kekana, Cidraas Motseothata, Madimetja Legodi and Victor Mohammed are on trial in the Johannesburg high court for his murder.

They also face three attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting students outside the Johannesburg Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Dr Tebogo Sedibe, who works at a health care centre, examined Ntumba on the day of the incident. 

“I started working at around 9am. I saw Mthokozisi at around 10am. While I was attending the next patient, we heard a very loud sound. It sounded like a firearm being discharged.”

He said Ntumba was one of his patients and he had seen him before. On that day he had complained about a stomach ache.

“I gave him medication and booked him off for a few days.”

Sedibe said he assumed the loud sounds were gun shots.

“I asked the patient to excuse me as I wanted to check what was going on. I met my receptionist and she told me the deceased was lying outside.”

The doctor asked his receptionist, Lerato Mokoena, who testified on Monday, to call emergency services.

“Immediately when you get to a scene like that you have to check if the environment is safe. I went to his right side and the first thing I noticed was that he was gasping [for air], which is an indication his respiratory cardio vascular systems were not working.

“I noticed blood on his shirt. I lifted the shirt and tapped him on the shoulder to see if he was responding.”

Ntumba did not respond.

“I went to the jugular area to check for a pulse and there wasn’t one. Since there was no pulse, you have to start cardio pulmonary resuscitation [CPR].”

He explained that when there is no pulse, the heart has stopped working, which was the case with Ntumba.

He performed CPR in an effort to resuscitate Ntumba, who had a wound on his face and the left side of his chest.

He said when he examined Ntumba during their consultation earlier that morning there were no injuries on his body.

“He was fine. He only complained of a stomach ache.”

Sedibe said when an ambulance arrived paramedics reassessed Ntumba and found no signs of life “so we suspended the resuscitation”.

The trial continues.

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