The man arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his son after he mistook him for a criminal at the Fred Norman Secondary school in Ennerdale south of Johannesburg has been released on a warning.

Sibusiso Tshabalala applied for bail in his first court appearance in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court following the fatal shooting on Tuesday.

Tshabalala opened fire upon his 14-year-old son’s return from an evening class as he tried to get into the car. Tshabalala says he had fallen asleep and thought he was being hijacked.

Tshabalala’s wife joined him in the dock and they cried together before the bail application got underway. Although seated separately, Tshabalala and his wife could hardly stop crying as the lawyer read out an affidavit in his bail application.

The 51-year-old father of four submitted that the fatal shooting of his son was an accident and it’s something that will haunt him for the rest of his life. He asked to be released on bail so he can bury his son in dignity.

The state did not oppose bail and it was granted. Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was seated in row two in the courtroom, behind Tshabalala’s wife. The matter has been postponed to the 24th of next month for further investigation.

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