Durban - The family and friends of the teenager, Nqobile Nzuza, who was shot dead during a housing protest in Cato Manor on Monday, said she was an innocent bystander who had not deserved to die.
This was what KwaZulu-Natal Transport and Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu was told when he visited the area to offer support to the bereaved.
He told the Nzuza family he lost a sonin a shooting in 1999.
“I remember how the Cato Crest people supported me during that time. I, too, will show you support,” he said.
Mchunu said he had been told the police were attacked by a mob and acted in self-defence.
The crowd had been protesting against a decision by the eThekwini Municipality to demolish shacks in the area when a policeman allegedly opened fire, killing the girl and hitting her friend in the arm.
Nzuza’s father, Dumisani, said his 17-year-old daughter had been shot in the back.
Dumisani said when he found his daughter’s body, he found nothing that indicated she had been a threat to the police.
“We used to work well with police officers from Mayville Station, but since (the housing protests started) we have been harassed and belittled,” he said.
Nqobile’s cousin, Ayanda Ngema, said Nqobile had not taken part in the protest, but had been eager to see what was happening when she heard the commotion in the road.
“She had just been watching, like most people, she just wanted to see,” Ngema said.
Buleka Makhwenkwana, who was with Nqobile at the time and who was shot in the arm, said they had done nothing wrong. “I was also shot from the back while we ran away,” she said.
Mchunu said the department would help with the funeral costs as well as taking Dumisani to where he needed to go during the preparations to bury his child.