South Africa

Shooter's car had no plates, tinted glass: witness to Dr Munshi's murder

Shooter's car had no plates, tinted glass: witness to Dr Munshi's murder

Johannesburg anaesthetist Dr Abdulhay Munshi was gunned down by a motorist who rear-ended his vehicle then opened fire multiple times, witnesses say.

Munshi was killed in Orange Grove about 3.50pm on Wednesday afternoon.

Witness Dayton Ramiah said he had just arrived home and was offloading his van with his father when he heard a loud bang.

“I assumed it was a backfire. I looked back and saw a black BWM stopped outside our gate.

“As I looked I heard four gunshots. They were so quick.”

Running to the gate with his father, an ex- policeman, Ramiah said he saw a dark grey C-Class Mercedes-Benz race off.

“The windows were tinted. You couldn’t see who was inside. It was speeding. There were no number plates on it.”

Ramiah ran to the car with his father.

“There was an elderly white woman who had stopped. She saw everything.”

Ramiah’s father, Daryn Ramiah, said the woman described how she was behind the Mercedes-Benz when the shooting happened.

“What she told us was crazy. She said the accident happened. She said after the shooting the doctor got out and walked to the back of his car.

“The driver, who was apparently a white guy, got out of the Mercedes, walked up to the BWM driver and shot him.”

Daryn Ramiah said the man was riddled with bullets.

“A bullet him in the right eye. He was shot in the chest, twice in the back and once under the arm.

“Between the crash, the shooting and the killer driving off was about three minutes. It was so quick.”

Another witness, a resident who was watching TV at the time of the shooting, told TimesLIVE he heard multiple gunshots.

“It was quick succession ... bang, bang and then bang, bang and bang, bang.

“I hunt and know gunshots going off. It was with purpose. It was aggressive. You can hear when someone is shooting with purpose or panic and there was nothing panicky about that shooter.”

A third witness, construction worker Gregor Chauke, said he was mixing cement at a house next to the intersection when he heard the gunshots.

“There were two and then another two. It was scary. I dropped everything and ran with the other workers to the back of the house.”

He said it was only later that they felt brave enough to go and investigate. “There were people screaming. You could see the man dying. It was horrible.”

Police have not released a detailed statement. Brig Mathapelo Peters said only that a shooting was carried out by unknown suspects. “Police are at this stage not at liberty to disclose or confirm the deceased's identity. The motive for the shooting is yet to be determined.”

The Radiological Society of SA said it was outraged at the “brutal and senseless” murder.

Dr Dharmesh Daya, its president, urged the authorities to act without fear or favour to find and arrest the murderers.

“We are outraged by the brutal murder of Dr Munshi. Doctors travel at all times of day and night to see patients. There are increasing numbers of reports of doctors and paramedics being attacked and killed. Doctors are already at risk from the diseases they treat, as we have seen in the Covid-19 pandemic. It is even more tragic when they are violently killed while following their calling and serving the community.”

The Medical Protection Society also expressed the fraternity's shock at Munshi's death.

“The thoughts and prayers of MPS and SA’s health-care profession are with Dr Munshi’s family during this sad time,” the society said.

Munshi was one of two prominent doctors who found themselves in the midst of a medical storm after they were blamed for the death of a 10-year-old patient after surgery. Munshi and Prof Peter Beale were charged with culpable homicide. The patient, Zayaan Sayed, died at Netcare's Park Lane Clinic in October last year, hours after Beale performed what was meant to be a routine laparoscopic operation to stop reflux.

Daya spoke out at their public arrest in October 2019, saying this, and their suspension, had occurred without inquiry by the health regulator, the Health Professions Council of SA. “The normal progression of events was reversed, which endangers the everyday practice of medicine in SA. Alleged malpractice must be investigated, but investigation must precede sanction and criminal charges. As with all accused, doctors have rights and are innocent until proven guilty.” 

TimesLIVE