Police identify attacker at Mandela's home

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- Police have confirmed that the man shot dead outside former president Nelson Mandela's Cape Town home on Tuesday night is a disgruntled former soldier who was wanted in connection with the theft of four R4 assault rifles and ammunition from a military base.
It appears that the man attempted to open fire at guards at the gates of Mandela's plush Bishopscourt home.
The guards returned fire, killing the man instantly.
Two other men were arrested in a getaway car nearby and are being held for questioning.
Earlier fears that the man was a militant white right-winger have been allayed.
The man has been identified as George Makuma who may have suffered from a mental illness.
"The man has been identified as an ex-South African National Defence Force member whose state of mind we had been concerned about," the army said in a statement.
It appears Makuna had demanded to see Mandela or Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, claiming he had information that some people were planning to disrupt next month's elections.
Police are continuing their investigation, assisted by the intelligence agencies.
Meanwhile, Mandela who was in Johannesburg at the time of the shooting has expressed his shock at the incident.

17 march 2004 08:49:00




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