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Johannesburg - The family of a man shot dead, allegedly by a policeman, in Durban Deep in Roodepoort on the West Rand on Thursday believes 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,” said the man's cousin, Ofentse Lehihi.
“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.”
The dead man was identified as Tshepo Babuseng, 28.
Earlier, police spokeswoman Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said he was shot after protesting residents barricaded roads with stones and burning tyres.
“During the protest, a police vehicle came through... and they 1/8protesters 3/8 came rushing towards the vehicle,” she said.
“The member, a warrant officer, allegedly fired warning shots. One of the protesters was injured and was certified dead at the hospital.”
The shooting was being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
Lehihi said the family was shattered by the news of Babuseng's death.
“We are trying to come to terms with what happened, it's a difficult time for the family.”
Babuseng would be buried in Taung next week.
The protest over housing started around 6am on Main Reef road.
Mogale said protesters were burning tree trunks and tyres and throwing stones at vehicles. 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.
“The public order police and Johannesburg metro police department are monitoring the situation,” said Mogale.
Police arrested 15 people for public violence.