Pregnant woman shot by cops

08/10/2015. A pregnant Sister Shokane who was shot three times with rubber bullets during a secongd round of evictions in Soshanguve Extention 19. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

08/10/2015. A pregnant Sister Shokane who was shot three times with rubber bullets during a secongd round of evictions in Soshanguve Extention 19. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Published Oct 9, 2015

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Pretoria - A six-months pregnant woman was hospitalised after being hit three times by rubber bullets during the second round of evictions at Soshanguve’s Extension 19 informal settlement.

Residents occupying private and municipal land were removed by metro police and the Red Ants, as per a court order issued over a week ago.

During Thursday’s encounter, Sister Shokane, 33, said the remaining residents were caught unawares by Tshwane metro police officers who stormed the settlement, firing rubber bullets at them while also confiscating the makeshift building structures that had been assembled.

“I just saw people running because they were being shot at. When they approached me I tried to stop them and tell them that I couldn’t run because I am pregnant but they didn’t listen and they shot at me,” said an emotional Shokane.

She was shot in both sides of her body, and below the abdomen.Her woes were compounded as she was not able to receive medical attention immediately as residents protested and closed off the M17 with rocks and rubble, preventing vehicles, including emergency vehicles, from accessing the trunk road.

However, Shokane was later driven to George Mukhari Hospital where she was admitted and kept for further examinations.

About 2 500 shacks were removed on Monday while four people were arrested.

Two were arrested for public violence and the other two for possession of petrol bombs.Residents joined in an exodus from another informal settlement called “Marry Me”, and settled in Extension 19.

“They better kill us; we are not going anywhere because we do not have anywhere to go. We do not have money to take our belongings back to Marry Me, and even if we do, we heard that another eviction order was issued in that area, giving them seven days to leave,” said William Madzie.

He said it be a futile exercise to move back as they would be evicted within a number days.”The government must make a plan for us and let us know what they intend to do with us because we do not have anywhere to go. We don’t have water, we don’t have electricity, now our shacks have also been taken,” said Madzie.

Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Issac Mahamba confirmed that an operation took place at the settlement, but said the officers acted within the law.

“We are still monitoring the area because that land does not belong to them. It is privately owned and we will continue to evict anyone who unlawfully occupies it,” Metro spokesman Isaac Mahamba said.

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