Pretoria - The man shot and injured during a protest by hawkers in Pretoria on Tuesday was not a member of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum, the organisation said.
“He just came to join us as we were protesting. I saw the security guard shooting the man,” the forum's chairman Shoes Maloka said.
“There were numerous police officers who were escorting us. The officers ran away when the gun was fired. It became difficult to control our members.”
The man, only identified by his friends as Slesh, lay at the corner of Mogul and Fourth streets in Marabastad, near Pretoria central. Eyewitnesses said the man had joined a group of informal traders protesting against the Tshwane metro police.
When Sapa got to the scene, Tshwane emergency medical services ambulance had just arrived.
The wounded man was placed in the ambulance as several police officers and a crowd looked on.
Tshwane metro police were not immediately available to comment on the shooting.
Earlier, members of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum demanded a response to the a memorandum of grievances it handed to the municipality in Pretoria.
Maloka led hundreds of sjambok-wielding protesters through the city centre.
Tshwane MMC for economic development Subesh Pillay received the memorandum at the Tshwane metro municipality's head office, Isivuno House.
The traders want metro police to stop “stealing” their stock, and to act against an officer who shot dead one of their colleagues in January.
Maloka said the protest would resume on Wednesday.
In January, the forum claimed that Foster Jan Rivombo, a vegetable seller, was shot dead for refusing to hand his stock over to Tshwane metro police.
The hawkers threatened to make the city ungovernable if the Tshwane metro police did not stop harassing them.
The forum says it has more than 1000 licensed members in Pretoria.