By Mpumi Kiva
A Rasta who was shot during a clash with cops during a raid last week has died under police guard.
News of Ras Champion Ntlapho's death quickly spread through the Marcus Garvey informal settlement and Rastas soon mobilised and marched to the local cop shop for answers.
The 38-year-old died of his injuries - which police insisted at the time was only from a rubber bullet - while under police guard in Groote Schuur Hospital.
Now his neighbours believe police are trying to cover up the real cause of his death.
Yesterday, about 50 Rastas, holding posters with "blood on your hands" and "JZ come to Marcus Garvey" marched to the Philippi East Police Station.
The furious crowd showed their disrespect for the law by lighting a dagga pipe in front of the cops and shouted
"We are practising our culture".
"Women and children are being raped and drugs are everywhere," another man shouted.
"Why not go and arrest the law-breakers, smoking ganja is our culture."
Last week, a raid with units from the Flying Squad and Metro police confiscated 950 dagga plants.
Champion was shot in the raid and arrested for public violence at the scene.
But yesterday, his neighbours insisted he was not a violent man.
A man, who identified himself as Ras Fire told the Daily Voice that Champion was a father of three and was shot at close range.
"He put up his hands and one of the Metro cops fired a shot while standing in front of him, then he was taken away by cops," he says.
"When we went to see him at the hospital, he was under police guard."
Police spokesman Vukile Ntandani was not available for comment as cops were in talks with the Rastafarian community late yesterday. - Daily Voice