Killer police officer dies
Bulelani ‘Sniper’ Manyakama (37), the cop who allegedly shot and killed East London boxer Leighandre Jegels has died.
Manyakama sustained critical head injuries when he crashed into an oncoming bakkie near Peddie fleeing the scene of where he shot his girlfriend three times in the face and injured her mother in Wilsonia on Friday.
Two more people were killed in the head-on collision, hours after he shot Jegels. He was due to appear in court yesterday (Monday). He was a member of the East London Tactical Response Team (TRT).
“Leighandre was scared of him”
Two years ago, a childhood friend of murdered boxer Leighandre Jegels (25), Sibusiso ‘CeeBoo’ Msesiwe (29) had a bad feeling about her relationship with the cop, nicknamed Sniper. The policeman was arrested for shooting her three times in the face and injuring her mother on Friday in Wilsonia.
Msesiwe, a celebrated local musician, grew up with Jegels and her two siblings in the suburb of Dawn and affectionately called her Lilli. Two years ago, Jegels visited Msesiwe in her Braelyn marital home, after years of being estranged, and she enthused about her new boyfriend whom she met in karate and how he has a black belt. The couple shared a home in Willow Park, just behind the East London airport.
“My first red flag was the boyfriend’s nickname which I found to be unsettling. She was in love; said she loved the way she felt around him because they had a vibe and he understood her. She was however feeling conflicted because her family did not approve of the relationship because of his age as Lilli was just 23 at the time,” recalls Msesiwe.
During the visit, Jegel’s boyfriend called and Msesiwe remembers how jumpy she became, which she says was unusual because her friend was fearless. She pressed her about what was really going on in the relationship but Jegels shrugged her off. The phone calls and the jumpiness, she said, happened a few times during their visits.
Msesiwe advised her friend to move back home and seek independence differently with her parent’s blessings in order for the relationship to work. “She laughed saying she is a bit tired of cleaning up after him and taking care of the home they shared.”
She had never seen the couple together, except for a few times when she drove to her father’s house in Dawn and saw them sitting together on the doorstep of the Jegels home. She had not been able to greet because the two friends had an argument that caused a bridge between them.
This is something she is especially painful about, losing a friend that she was no longer in good terms with. “I wish I had, had an opportunity to continue advising her about this man, to have met him and maybe I could have seen signs of whether she was happy or not. When I looked at his photographs, his eyes seemed so cold and troubled,” she remembers.
She saw Jegels as a little sister and big sister because she was always ahead of her time. She had dreams of going to Italy to eat pizza freshly made by Italians and going shopping in Paris.
“She was very focused and career driven. She studied Education but because she was very good at karate, she wanted to pursue it too. I was surprised when she started to box but everything had always fallen into place and aligned with her plans. She had a great future ahead of her”.
Msesiwe wrote a tribute poem for her friend, something she says she has not done since she lost her mother. “Lilli would walk into a room and light it up without even saying hello. She had a kind and generous spirit; she was a happy soul.”
The 37-year-old Tactical Response Team (TRT) policeman killed two more people in a head-on collision on the same day.
He also shot and injured Jegel’s mother during the shooting. She had been travelling with her daughter to Mdantsane for training. The cop fled the scene in a hired white Mercedes Benz and drove towards Port Elizabeth and caused an accident near Peddie.
Jegels had a restrained order against the cop at the time of her death.