Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
18 Dec 2021
9:59 am

Len Cloete, the man shot in head by police officer at hotel, comes out of coma

Citizen Reporter

Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said they will now try to speak to Cloete.

Len Cloete has reportedly regained consciousness after being shot in the head. Photo: Screengrab from video

Len Cloete, the 59-year-old man who was shot in the head by a police officer at a hotel in Muldersdrift in November, has reportedly come out of his coma.

News24 reported on Friday that Cloete has regained consciousness.

Cloete’s wife, Chantal, told the publication that he had been kept in a coma by doctors after undergoing two operations on his brain and skull. 

After coming out of his coma, Chantal reportedly asked Cloete to wink if he could hear her, which he did. 

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Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Grace Langa confirmed that Cloete’s condition has improved.

“He is able to breathe on his own and can open his eyes a little,” said Langa.

Cloete was shot by the police officer at the Misty Hills Country Hotel after becoming embroiled in an altercation with the cops. The police were called to the scene after Cloete allegedly started fighting with staff members at the lodge.

Video of shooting circulated on social media

In a widely circulated video on social media, a naked Cloete is seen arguing with police officers.

Cloete can then be heard asking where his gun is. A female police officer then says “now you are playing dangerous”.

“Who’s playing dangerous?” Cloete asks as he returns with a gun in his hand.

After shouting at the police officers, Cloete then takes the gun of the female police officer. It is then that another cop shoots Cloete in the head.

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The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) defended the way the officers handled the situation, saying their actions were completely justified.

“The officers found their lives were in danger and acted accordingly, which must be deemed as justifiable,” the union said in a statement.

Ipid, which is still investigating the shooting, previously said there was no reason to arrest any of the police officers at the scene.

Ipid now wants to interview Cloete

Langa, however, said Ipid will now try to speak to Cloete.

“We are not able to interview him at this stage. We will wait for the point of recovery where he will be able to explain and recall what happened on the day of the incident,” said Langa.

“We do not want to put pressure [on Cloete] as whatever he says will be under oath and will be used in the court of law, so we need to be patient with his journey to recovery.”