‘Please help them’ – McIntosh Polela’s plea for half siblings as father is accused of shooting spree
Polela had written the memoir “My Father‚ My Monster” and detailed how his father killed his mother‚ Delisile Shezi‚ but served no jail time.
Now the same man allegedly terrorised his second wife Thulisile‚ shooting at her and her three children in Ladysmith‚ KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday afternoon.
“Once I was told‚ all memories came flooding back. It is shock‚ basically. I mean you do not even have time for emotions‚ you do not have time to react because of shock‚” he said.
According to Polela’s half-brother‚ Siyabonga Nzimande‚ 40‚ they received a call from people in the Danskraal area to come and fetch his father’s earthmoving equipment and a car which were left there.
Along with their mother‚ the three siblings arrived in the area to collect the assets and were approaching their home in Watersmeet when they encountered their father.
“He demanded to know who gave us permission to take his property and an argument ensued between him and my mother. Enraged‚ he pulled out a gun and started shooting at us‚” he said.
Nzimande said they took cover behind the vehicles as his father‚ 65‚ sprayed them with bullets.
He said his father kept missing his targets as he reloaded .38 calibre revolver.
“He was about to shoot my brother‚ Senzekahle (23)‚ in the head but he (Senzekahle) turned and was hit in the right cheek.
“He was reloading for the third time when my other brother tackled him to the ground.
“Bystanders came to our help to restrain him while waiting for the police to arrive‚” Nzimande said.
He said police arrived two hours later and arrested his father.
Polela and Nzimande’s father has not been named as he is yet to appear in court.
Senzekahle Nzimande was treated and discharged from hospital.
Nzimande said the gun belonged to his mother and had been missing for almost two years.
They did not know what had happened to it until it almost killed his entire family.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesperson‚ Captain Nqobile Gwala‚ confirmed the shooting incident.
She said the suspect was assaulted by members of the public after the shooting incident and was currently under police guard in hospital.
“A case of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm was opened at Elandslaagte police station. He will appear in the Ladysmith magistrate court as soon as he is discharged from hospital‚” she said.
Nzimande described his father as a violent man who regularly terrorised the family whenever he comes home after long absences.
“We grew up under horrible circumstances‚” he said.
“Last month he drove into a tent packed with people attending a traditional ceremony‚ injuring several people‚ without any provocation. He is a violent man.”
In his memoir‚ Ndzimande’s half brother‚ McIntosh Polela‚ details how he and his sister‚ Zinhle‚ were plucked from a life of relative opulence in Durban and dumped with their impoverished relatives in a rural part of KwaZulu-Natal when he was about five. His parents had mysteriously disappeared.
It was only later in his adult life that Polela discovered the brutal truth about the death of his mother‚ Delisile Shezi‚ at the hands of his father‚ and documented it in his memoir.
Polela told The Times that his father got a suspended sentence for the murder of his mother. However‚ he said he did not know the details as he was only four years old when it happened.
On Monday‚ Polela said that his siblings were living in fear‚ but he hoped that “help will come from the powers that be”.
He said his unrepentant father had always boasted about “paying his way out of anything”.
During his stint as a television journalist‚ Polela used his father’s surname but changed his name to Polela when he joined the SA Police Service as spokesperson for the Hawks.