Police slated after another protester dies

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THE STAR

Evicted shack dwellers protest in London Road, Alexandra. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - Political parties and civil society have slated the police for alleged acts of brutality.

This followed the killing of a resident of Durban Deep on the West Rand during a protest against evictions on Thursday.

Residents wept openly after hearing that Tshepo Babuseng, an unemployed resident, had died on his way to hospital.

He was allegedly shot by police during early morning protests.

The incident came a few days after the killing of four residents of Mothutlung in North West’s Madibeng municipality.

The latest killing drew condemnation from some opposition parties and human rights organisations.

Cope called on the police to ignore “illegal shoot-to-kill orders” of civilians during protest marches, saying this was against the constitution.

“Section 11 of the constitution doesn’t allow for the indiscriminate killing of people. This is the same section… that rendered the death penalty illegal,” said Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

He also called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega to resign. He said Phiyega “has been a disaster since day one of her tenure”.

Earlier this week, EFF leader Julius Malema warned that more people would be killed by the police under the ANC-led government.

“They started with Andries Tatane and said there’s no evidence and the police walked free,” Malema said, addressing residents of KaHhoyi village near Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, on Tuesday.

“They came to Marikana, and (after) two years we still don’t know what happened. Now the people of Brits want water but they are met with death from the police. I’m telling you, you see it on TV and think it will never happen to you; it’s coming here.”

Meanwhile, a Human Rights Watch report released this week found that incidents of police brutality remained high. The organisation’s southern African director, Tiseke Kasamba, said this was a betrayal of “a very strong human rights legacy” that Nelson Mandela had left.

It is the second consecutive year that state security violence against civilians during protests has given the country a bad name on the organisation’s State of Human Rights global report.

DA Gauteng spokesman Mmusi Maimane said he would write to Mthethwa to ask how many more people must die before action was taken against the police.

He said Mthethwa should explain to the residents why the police used live ammunition.

“We are not animals, we are fighting for our rights,” said Maimane.

He met with the Durban Deep community yesterday afternoon to listen to their concerns.

He told the residents that they would be taking the legal route and applying for an interdict to stop the evictions in the mining town.

“We don’t want more Tshepos to die,” he said.

lebogang.seale@inl.co.za

mpiletso.motumi@inl.co.za

The Star


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