The shooting of Constable Leroy Scott in May 12th 2015

The following is an update to my post on the IPID report published in 2015

While I did state in 2015 that Michael had shot Scott in self defense, I now need to retract that statement and issue a new statement.

SAPS has thus far refused to inform the family what gun Michael used when he shot at Scott and they also refuse to state what gun was used that fired the bullet that killed Michael. SAPS of course stated that Michael shot himself with his own gun, but they do not state the type or make of gun. SAPS did not state what caliber of bullet hit Scott.

My sister Diana has always insisted that if a bullet fired by Michael’s gun had hit Scott, that bullet would not have been fired directly at Scott, and it must have ricocheted off something before hitting Scott. In other words, Michael would have fired a warning shot and not have intentionally fired directly at Scott.  Barbara never believed that Michael did shoot at Scott, though video evidence does show that Michael had a gun and that the gun did jerk, presumably from recoil after firing.

I myself had thought that a ricocheted bullet had hit Scott. My statement in 2015 could however be interpreted that Michel intended to shoot Scott in the face/head, but that was not my intention when I wrote that. The range was very short, and Michael could probably have shot Scott between the eyes, if he had so wished. Furthermore, it is possible that in that situation (described as a war zone by neighbours) Michael accidentally fired a shot.  So I certainly cannot state or imply that Michael had intentionally fired at Scott, even though Scott had shot at Michael, again, based on video evidence.

Incidentally Scott stated to the IPID that he directed two shots at Michael. The CCTV video shows only one shot, but a ballistics expert said with sequential sequencing of multiple CCTV cameras, it would not be unexpected that only one shot would be seen on CCTV footage from a single camera when two shots were fired in quick succession from the same gun.

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How Cape Town media in particular obscured the truth instead of informing public

Radio, online and social media covered the standoff or siege extensively, from late on the 12th May. On the 13th May, there was extensive coverage in print media as well. there were several print media articles on 14th May, with very little coverage thereafter. Several online and media articles on 19th, the day Michael was buried. Limited media coverage when iPID announced it was going to investigte, and coverage in several online and printed media when IPID report was issued.

 

However, the initial negative portrayal of Michael Volkwyn on 12th-14th resulted in public interest greatly and rapidly diminishing, with the result that there was nearly zero public interest after Michael’s family found hard evidence of assault and murder.

I have summarized the negative role of the media in this table:  Media reports of siege and death

Michael’s acquittal of an illegal weapons charge

Michael’s was charged on 7 counts all pertaining to manufacturing of unlicensed weapons, possession of such weapons etc.  The case was opened in  2008.  He was acquitted on all counts on 13th August 2010. The Prosecutor was Ms Ismail. The magistrate was Ms. van Eeden.

Here is a scan of the judgement , in a Dropbox folder.

Barbara was aware of this court case, and possibly other family members. Michael’s brother Roy was however totally unaware of this case until after Michael’s death.

Michael carefully wrapped the original paper document of the acquittal judgement , tied it with a ribbon, marked it for “Roy” and hid it under the floor of his bedroom.  We presume this was intended for Michael’s brother Roy and not Michael’s high school friend Roy Gentle.  It is certain that police searched under this floor after Michael’s murder (to retrieve the bullet that went through the floorboard, if not for anything else).  This acquittal judgement was one of several items that was left untouched by those who searched for and removed documents and artifacts from the house on 13th and 14th May.

Someone with knowledge of weapons development told me that one would normally only be acquitted of an illegal weapons charge if someone very high up in government ordered the acquittal. He said one reason to acquit someone, is to later recruit that person to develop weapons. He also said that is was possible that someone had recruited Michael to develop the weapons for which he was charged in 2008.

Apparently, a person convicted of an illegal weapons charge may not get a license to own a gun. A person without a gun license cannot purchase propellant to make ammunition. We know that Michel had a gun license, and that he had tins of propellant in his home.

CSI company found no evidence of blood in bedroom!

Several months after Michael’s death, Barbara had some DNA tests done to check for Michael’s blood on certain items. She was told by the lab that lab results are inadmissible in court unless the samples are collected by either police or private detectives.  It was then that we decided to get a Crime Scene Investigations (usually abbreviated to CSI) company to not only take samples, but also to reconstruct the crime scene and to find bullet holes.

I contacted one company who referred me to another company as the first one did not use blood presence detection tests.  This second company stated that they were competent to do the work, and also said that they work with a partner who does some of the work.

To cut a long story short, measurements were taken, photos were taken, I paid and got a report in two parts.  The report stated that there was no evidence to support the family’s claims of blood in the bedroom.

The fees I paid for this work was for me as a pensioner, a significant amount of money.  The money was not entirely wasted, as they did a blood presence test on the trolley in the passage.  Blood was indicated, and the blood droplets were very fine. This indicates forward spatter.  I conclude, from that test and associated photo, that Michael’s dog Tiger Dog was shot in front of that trolley.

This company was unaware that Barbara and I would ourselves get hold of BlueStar, and do blood presence tests in the bedroom.  As already reported in previous blog posts, blood was found all over in the bedroom, on the walls, carpet, wooden bord used to stiffen the mattress,  floor, skirtings, tops and undersides of shelves.

 

 

 

blood marks on underside of bedroom shelf

The first photo below shows the shelf which has a bullet hole in it.  This photo was taken just before we sprayed the shelf with BlueStar.

 

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The next two photos were taken after the light was switched off after spraying with BlueStar. These blue patches were large (i.e. not from blood drops) and glowed brightly, indicating high blood content ( or little dilution from washing or cleaning)

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Normally the blue glow dies rapidly and by the time the light has switched on, the blue glow is no longer visible. In the photo below, the blue glow was still very evident after the light was switched on.

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This shelf is above head height.  I believe that when Michael was trying to fight off his attackers with his bare hands, he stepped on top of his bed.  The room is very small, and the only space for him to move at that stage, was on his bed.  One or more of his attackers must have stepped on top on the bed too.  Michael’s head was pushed hard against the shelf, causing a head wound that bled profusely.  (note that this head wound was not noted by the private pathologist, and according to a policeman who claims he was present at the autopsy, no head wounds were noted by anyone at the autopsy).

The blood indicated in the 3 photos above, is I believe, the blood from Michael’s head wound.  It is not known to me whether the blood was deposited there by Michael’s fingers or a policeman’s fingers. It appears as though the shelf got dislodged, as it is not screwed or bolted down, and then fell down during the struggle. There is damage to the ceiling board that looks as though it could have been caused by this shelf first tilting upwards (it is also possible that Michael grabbed the shelf to use it to defend himself).

 

Role of CoCT Law Enforcement in Hazendal raid on 12th May 2015

I sent 4 questions to City of Cape Town Law Enforcement

1. Who in Law Enforcement initiated the process to remove Volkwyn’s dogs?
2. Who was the most senior person in Law Enforcement who authorized the process to remove Volkwyn’s dogs?
3. Did Law Enforcement request support from SAPS?
4. Or, was it SAPS that initially requested Law Enforcement to get Michael Volkwyn’s dogs removed?
Eventually, after I had forwarded or copied the e-mail to various persons, I got a reply from an Information Officer stating that I needed to submit an application via the Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) process.  I then restructured my questions, and ended up with 16 questions, some with several sub questions.
Here is a link to the unsigned version of that document.

Law Enforcement folio for InformationAccess

I was requested to pay the standard R35 fee before they would commence accessing the information.    Here is the essence of the response to my questions.

LE Response

Law Enforcement sent me a file in PDF format including two e-mails, and excerpt of which is in the LE Response link above, a medical report of the injured tenant, and various affidavits.  It is not appropriate that the entire response be linked here I think the tenant’s affidavit and photos of her wounds should not be put in the public domain, not by myself anyway.

Law Enforcement evaded answering questions that could have put them in a bad light.

On 13th May, about 5 hours after Michael’s death, Leon Wessels no doubt in anticipation of media or public requests for clarification of Law Enforcement”s role, wrote an e-mail  which was included in the PDF file sent to me.  Here is an except from this e-mail.

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Law Enforcement states that they made an unsuccessful attempt to impound dogs on 5th May.  They then requested the assistance of SAPS TRT Mitchells Plain.  Law Enforcement does not state why they requested the assistance of a TRT (Tactical Response Team) unit, instead of ordinary police from the nearby Athlone police station. A TRT is normally used when a number of armed criminals are to be arrested, e.g. for cash-in-transit heists, arresting an entire gang of armed persons.

Law enforcement is not telling the whole story. A still image – see photo below – captured by Michael from his cctv system shows that Law Enforcement was outside Michael’s home on 26th April. 

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This was at or around the time the tenant and her partner were removing their goods from the rooms they had rented from Michael.  Police (dressed as ordinary police, not SAPS TRT police) were present and were on Michael’s property during this removal of tenant’s goods.

Sharief Kafaar, Legal Advisor, City of Cape Town never responded to my question asking what Law Enforcement was doing outside Michel’s home on 26th April.

SAPS did not, it would seem, have a legitimate reason to raid Michael’s premises on 12th May. City of Cape Town Law Enforcement claims it was at the property on 12th May to seize Michael’s dogs, however, they did not do so in terms of existing legislation. Law Enforcement used a By-Law which was in bill form, and had not yet been promulgated. Thus, Law Enforcement was involved in an illegal raid at No. 10 Albermarle Rd, Hazendal on 12th May. A raid that culminated in my brother’s murder the next morning.

Two separate areas of blood on carpet in passage. One was certainly from the dog.

When this article was originally posted on 26th September, the blog post title asked was one from the dog. subsequently, I learned a little about forward blood spatter (blood and body matter ejected from bullet exit hole) and back spatter (blood ejected from bullet entry hole). Forward spatter is typically like a mist.  This is visible on the trolley. Back spatter is usually blood drops, rather than a fine mist. While back spatter was not apparent in the passage, the bloody arcs on the metal sheets clearly resembles arterial spatter, i.e. a stream of blood ejected from a severed or punctured artery.  I am quire sure that when the dog was shot, forward spatter was deposited on the trolley, and back spatter in the form of arterial bleeding sprayed onto the metal sheet against the wall.

– updated on 12th November.

Below is the original text posted on 26/09/2015.

Photo 1 below has two areas each demarcated by a yellow line – these lines were added electronically.  The area in the background. or towards the top of the photo (completely enclosed by a yellow line) is the area which had the pool of blood when the family first entered the home. In other words, the area where Michael was allegedly found dead by police.  The blood was left untouched for about a week (we were waiting for IPID to visit the home) and was then cleaned by my nieces or under their supervision.  The straight line on the left of this whitish area is where Michael’s thin sheet metal boards had been resting on the carpet.  There were several of these large sheets, which were almost as long as that section of the wall that they were propped up against.

The second area in the foreground of the scene, or on the lower right hand side of photo 1 (partially bounded by a yellow line) is the second area which had blood on the carpet.  This section of carpet was in front of and underneath a trolley Michael had in the passage for some tools, metal parts and reels of copper wire. When questioned by a CSI investigator, my nieces “confirmed that they used a household cleaning product as well as some washing powder that they sprinkled over the 2 spots”

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Photo 1

Photo 2 below shows the floor underneath and in front of where the trolley had stood.   The two photos, photo 1 and photo 2 were unfortunately not taken from the same camera position and zoom setting, but it is clear that the area of stained floorboard is far larger than the area of discoloured carpet.  By comparison, the floorboard under the spot where Michael was allegedly found dead, does not have this significant discolouring. If anything, my nieces would have had more cleaning done on the section where at the time we believed Michael had died, as that was the area with the thick pool of blood. My nieces were not at Michael’s home when they made the statement(s) to the CSI investigator. In fact, I doubt very much that my nieces had done any significant cleaning of the area under or in front of the trolley.

Barbara and I allege that the very discoloured floorboard area in photo 2 was washed and/or cleaned by persons in the home between the time after Michael’s death but before the family was permitted to enter the home.

Photo 3 was taken in low light conditions after the trolley and its contents were sprayed with BlueStar.  Blood is clearly indicated. I suspect that Tiger Dog was shot in the vicinity of the trolley, and that the dog was then pushed closer to the wall where it would have continued to bleed. A DNA test of a blood sample from the trolley would establish whether the blood is human or non human.

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Photo 2                                                                                               Photo 3