Johannesburg - The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on Wednesday expressed shock at the death of councillor Pauline Masutlhe in Marikana.

Masutlhe died at Job Shimankane Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg on Wednesday.

She was shot in the leg by police during a police operation last Saturday (15 September) in the Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana, the IMC said.

She was subsequently admitted to hospital, where she underwent an operation to remove the rubber bullet. She died while in hospital.

“We are deeply saddened to lose a dedicated person of Councillor Masutlhe's calibre. She was very instrumental in providing support to the IMC while it was discharging its responsibilities in Marikana. Our hearts are with the Masutlhe family at this time,” said Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, who heads the IMC.

Masutlhe formed part of the team that worked tirelessly together with the IMC to resolve the Marikana matter and provided support to the families of the deceased, the IMC said.

She was a proportional representation councillor in Madibeng Local Municipality and also served at Bonjanala District Municipality, representing the African National Congress.

Lesiba Kgwele, spokesperson for the North West provincial government, said Premier Thandi Modise had appealed for calm and urged the relevant authorities to investigate the matter, if it was found that the woman did not die of natural causes.

“The premier conveys her condolences to the family and said the provincial government would do anything possible to show them support,” Kgwele said.

The cause of death could not be established yet, as a post mortem had yet to be conducted. - Sapa