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Brits - North West police on Sunday urged people to allow the Independent Police Investigative Directorate to do its work, after reports emerged that the same police involved in Marikana were also present at water protests in Brits which turned deadly.
“Let us allow Ipid to do their work...We can't deal with senseless rumour-mongering,” North West police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubani told Sapa.
He was responding to an article in City Press which reported that members of the community in Mothutlung, Madibeng, had reported a police officer for misconduct to Ipid who had also been part of the Marikana police team.
According to the newspaper, residents alleged that the police officer killed a freelance photographer in “cold blood” during this week's protests over water services.
“He only had a camera,” community activist Solly Setlale told City Press.
“There was no stone in his hand. The only threat he posed was that his camera was recording evidence of what the police were doing.”
During the protests taking place near Brits on Monday, mineworker Osia Rahube and photographer Michael Tshele were shot dead, allegedly by the police. On Tuesday, Lerato Seema died, apparently after falling from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody.
Protesters claimed they had been without water for at least three months.
On Sunday, Ngubani said that it would have been incorrect to simply “send home” all police officers after the Marikana shooting in August 2012, during which police killed 34 people, mainly striking miners and wounded 78.
Instead he said all parties were still awaiting the findings of the Farlam commission which has been investigating the incident.
Ngubane said anyone with information about police misconduct during the protests over water needed to report the matter to Ipid.
“They need to go and stand in court...We know that in the justice process the matter must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt.”