Roodepoort - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa must visit Durban Deep, Roodepoort, and explain why people are being killed, DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said on Thursday.
“We want the minister to come here and explain why people are being killed. We are not wild animals that we have to be controlled by bullets,” Maimane told Durban Deep residents gathered under a tree.
“How many more people must die before police co-operate with us?”
Maimane arrived on his “I believe” campaign bus, dressed in blue pants and a pin-striped shirt.
“I am not here to talk about politics, I came here to discuss how people are supposed to live.”
Residents of Durban Deep, on the West Rand, took to the streets earlier on Thursday to protest against an eviction order and a lack of RDP housing.
A 28-year-old man, Tshepo Babuseng, was shot dead, allegedly by a policeman, after protesting residents barricaded roads with stones and burning tyres.
Maimane said the owners of Skoon Plaas in Durban Deep, where a number of protesting residents were staying, forgot that there were parents who had children that went to school in the area.
“A court interdict should be made to stop these evictions and the demolitions here,” Maimane said.
Babuseng's family said they believed he was killed deliberately.
“He was not even a part of the protesters. He was on his way to work when he was shot and killed,” his cousin Ofentse Lehihi said.
“He was shot in his belly and the police claim the policeman who shot him fired warning shots. My cousin was shot in the stomach. Warning shots are supposed to be fired in the air. My cousin was shot on purpose.”
Police spokeswoman Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said protesters rushed towards a police vehicle and the warrant officer inside fired warning shots.
The shooting was being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
The protest over housing started around 6am on Main Reef road.
A section of the road was closed, but later reopened.
The debris was cleared and traffic began moving again. The area was calm on Thursday afternoon after police dispersed the crowd with rubber bullets.
“We want to appeal for calm, we do not want more lives to be lost, if we protest let us do it legally,” Maimane said.
Residents of Durban Deep sang a hymn: “Modimo reya ho boka (God we praise you)” in memory of Babuseng.
Public order police and Johannesburg metro police continued to monitor Randfontein road.
Traffic was moving freely on Main Reef road on Thursday afternoon.