Johannesburg - Angry residents of Durban Deep on the West Rand wept after a man was shot dead.
On Wednesday they found out that Tshepo Babuseng, an unemployed resident who was shot during early morning protests, had died on his way to hospital.
“The police are going to follow Tshepo to the grave,” said his aunt, Joyce Moamgwa. “They killed him like a dog. They can’t chase criminals, but they kill protesters.”
Residents believe the shooter was an off-duty police officer who lives in the area.
Gauteng police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale confirmed that one protester had been shot and killed by a police officer driving an unmarked vehicle.
"The police officer was driving through Durban Deep and was stopped by protesters who started shaking his vehicle. The officer fired warning shots and one protester was hit."
Mogale said the wounded protester was taken to hospital where he died.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate would investigate the death.
Fifteen people were arrested during the protests, Mogale said.
"Police arrested 15 people for public violence. Police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the protesters," she said.
Durban Deep residents were protesting over eviction notices which they say order them to relocate by month end. They are renting former mine houses from a property company, and say that now that the ownership has changed, they have been told to move. Some have been in the area for over 20 years.
“Our fathers were working here on the mines and they were promised these houses would be free,” said resident Louis Maseko.
“No eviction notice, no court order. They haven’t got anything,” said Lucas Phalane. “That’s why we blocked the street.”
He said many of the people had lived in shacks on the two plots in question for as long as 15 years.
The situation was relatively calm this morning as about 100 residents danced and sang in protest while the police looked on.
But tension started boiling when an eviction team arrived at the scene just before 9am and police had to stand between them and the protesters. Several residents could be seen shouting at the eviction team, but community leaders managed to calm the crowd.
The Joburg metro police confirmed that there were two protests under way in the city this morning – the one in Alexandra, and the other in Roodepoort at the Miles Stoker Circle in Durban Deep.
“Protesters are burning tyres and throwing stones,” said the JMPD’s spokesman Wayne Minnaar.
He said both protests affected peak-hour traffic.
Traffic on Randfontein Road around the area had to be diverted.
Minnaar said that Roodepoort traffic had been badly affected by the protests and advised motorists to make use of alternative routes.
Minnaar said that there was a heavy police presence in the area, diverting traffic and monitoring the situation.
The Star and Sapa