Johannesburg - An investigation is under way into allegations that one of the suspected robbers killed in a Braamfontein shootout with Joburg police last week was actually a bystander.
On January 12, the police said three robbers fled when confronted by cops during a robbery at a business in Westdene, and the chase ended a short while afterwards when the robbers crashed into another car in Braamfontein.
Police said a shootout ensued in which the three robbers were killed. One was shot dead at the scene while the other two were pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
But a Braamfontein resident has come forward, saying that one of the men was a bystander. “One of those shot dead by police was not a criminal,” said the man, who asked not to be identified.
The resident said the bystander had just bought a cooldrink from a nearby shop.
“We stay with him here in Braamfontein. He got caught up when he heard gunshots and panicked and followed someone who he thought was running away from the shots.”
SAPS spokeswoman Captain Doniah Mothutsane said no case had been opened against the police.
“No one was reported as a bystander.”
She did, however, confirm that the police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), was investigating the incident.
Ipid could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.