Police minister visits Brits after shooting

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Copy of Copy of IOL Nathi Mthethwa sep 19 Independent Newspapers Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. File photo: David Ritchie

Mothutlung - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy Makhotso Sotyu visited Brits, in North West, on Tuesday, following the shooting of two protesters, allegedly by the police.

They visited Brits police station, after two people were shot dead in Mothutlung during a service delivery protest, said police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi.

The issues in Mothutlung were not about policing, but service delivery, he said, and urged residents to raise their concerns in a peaceful way.

Mnisi said Mthethwa and Sotyu were accompanied by North West police commissioner Lt-Gen Zukiswa Mbombo and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

In a statement earlier on Tuesday, Mthethwa called for calm in Brits.

The public had the constitutional right to protest and raise issues about which they were not content, he said.

“These very rights do not imply that people must be violent, destroy property, attack police and intimidate others.

“However, as we have seen on many occasions, many protests have been accompanied by serious provocation, intimidation, violence and even elements of criminality,” said Mthethwa.

Residents of Mothutlung started protesting on Sunday afternoon about a water shortage.

Police were called to monitor them after they barricaded a road with burning tyres.

There was an altercation between protesters and the police, during which two protesters were shot dead.

Mthethwa said there was no culture of impunity within the police.

“We can assure the public that if any official is found guilty, they will face the consequences. For now, none of us should pre-empt or pre-judge the matter before it is concluded.”


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