Limpopo - Limpopo police allegedly shot dead a teenage boy during a protest in Bolobedu at the weekend - the sixth person reported to be killed by police this year, a spokesman said on Monday.
Saturday's shooting comes after the body of a woman was found about 8km away in Mandlakazi, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
The woman was found on Friday with her hands cut off, and her cellphone and keys placed inside her open stomach.
Mulaudzi said two men were taken in for questioning on Saturday.
“While we were busy with the questioning, the community mobilised and went and started to burn the houses of those two men, including one house that belonged to the boyfriend of the deceased woman,” he said.
“During that time, police went in to try and stop them from burning those houses. It is alleged that during that moment, one of our members (officers)shot at the protesting villagers, which led to the death of a 15-year-old boy.”
Mulaudzi said police also received information that villagers were planning to mobilise and burn down a police satellite station on Sunday because of the shooting.
“But that did not happen because police intervened.”
Provincial police had since instructed that all police officers who were at the shooting scene on Saturday hand in their firearms.
Ballistic tests would be carried out to determine who shot the boy.
“We are still waiting for the results from the ballistic test. No officer has been suspended or arrested yet,” he said.
No villagers had been arrested for the mob justice, but a case of arson had been opened.
Mulaudzi said the two men who were questioned were later released as they could not be linked to the murder of the woman.
Police were presently searching for the woman's boyfriend for questioning.
“We don't know where he is at this point”.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating the matter.
Since January, at least five others have been killed by police officers.
On January 13, Osiah Rahube and photographer Michael Tshele were killed in clashes with police in Brits during a protest for running water.
A third man, Lerato Seema, died the following day from injuries sustained when jumping off a moving Nyala, according to police. Police said a fourth person died on January 19 of injuries sustained in the clashes. Residents claim the 36-year-old man was shot in the head.
On January 23, a 28-year-old man, Tshepo Babuseng, was shot dead by a police officer during a protest in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, over housing. - Sapa