Johannesburg, Aug 18: A South African Indian-origin man has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting dead his cousin during a heated argument over a TV remote control, police said.
The unemployed 47-year-old man from Pietermaritzburg in the KwaZulu-Natal province, who was not named because of a pending psychological evaluation, murdered his cousin Rooksana Cassim, 42, they said.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that the man had been arrested and a firearm and ammunition had been seized. He has also been charged with attempting to murder his aunt, Maymoona Cassim, 80, who was shot in the leg during the incident.
The family had apparently been involved in an argument over watching television, which the accused man said was against his Islamic religious beliefs. He wanted to force the rest of the family to subscribe to this belief as well, the reports said.
A source close to the family was quoted as saying that the man was being confronted by Roksana's father Mohamed, 82, about repeatedly hiding away the TV remote control to stop the others watching TV as well.
He allegedly fired away at them, killing the cousin, who jumped in front of her father to avoid him being shot first. The unmarried deceased woman had spent her life looking after her aged parents, according to a neighbour.
Roksana's brother, Yusuf Cassim, said the suspect, who had several health problems, including epilepsy, had been living with the family for almost 15 years but was not under any medical treatment for it. He called for the accused, who has been remanded in custody, to be subjected to serious psychiatric evaluation before his reappearance in court next week.