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Ipid probing N West protest deaths

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Residents of Mothutlung, outside Brits, burnt tyres and barricaded roads after a fatal protest demanding water. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - The killing of four people during a protest in Brits over access to water is being investigated in two probes, North West police said on Monday.

Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was conducting a criminal probe, North West police were also investigating.

Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Zukiswa Mbombo had set up a team to conduct an internal departmental inquiry into compliance with policies on crowd management.

This probe would be concluded shortly.

“The SA Police Service regrets the loss of life and would like to express their condolences to the families of the deceased,” Mokgwabone said.

On Sunday, City Press reported that a few of the officers who shot and killed striking mine workers at Marikana in August 2012

were part of the core team deployed to Mothutlung where three people died last week, allegedly at the hands of the police.

According to the newspaper, residents had reported one officer Ä who was well known in Mothutlung as one of “the Marikana

policemen” Ä to Ipid.

Residents claimed that the officer shot and killed a 62-year-old freelance photographer “in cold blood”.

Earlier on Monday, Mokgwabone said a fourth person had died on Sunday.

“We don't know what kind of injuries he sustained 1/8during the clashes 3/8.”

Mokgwabone was unable to provide further information.

Jacaranda Fm News quoted Damonsville community leader Paul Hendricks as saying: “He was shot in the head with live ammunition and taken to Ga-Rankuwa hospital where the bullet was removed.”

According to SABC radio news, the man spent seven days in the intensive care unit of the hospital. His family confirmed the death.

Last week, two protesters were shot dead, allegedly by police. Another man died after falling out of a moving police vehicle in a bid to escape, according to police.

Mokgwabone sent condolences to the families of those killed.

The police have asked that anyone with information come forward and report it at the nearest police station or to Ipid.

Sapa


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