Bella Morake, shed tears for her husband Doctor Setlai, who was allegedly killed by Tshwane Metro Police Department officers during a protest. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Bella Morake, shed tears for her husband Doctor Setlai, who was allegedly killed by Tshwane Metro Police Department officers during a protest. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Widow’s grief after man killed by rubber bullet allegedly shot by Tshwane cops

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Apr 15, 2021

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Pretoria - The widow of a slain security guard who was allegedly shot and killed by Tshwane Metro Police Department officers said the bullet took away their breadwinner.

Bella Morake, 41 described her slain husband as a caring father, a leader in the community and a selfless husband. “And now all of that is taken away from us just because of incompetent police. “Now we are going to starve and children will have to drop out of school. The last time she spoke to her husband Doctor Setlai, 51, was when he said ‘I’m still at the meeting trying to fix service delivery woes’.”

Morake said she last saw her husband after knocking off at her odd job when he was walking out to a community meeting. “There was nothing odd or peculiar about it. My husband has always attended community meetings to help solve service delivery woes we always face,” she said.

Desperately trying to fight back tears, she said she started getting concerned when her husband didn’t return at the usual time. “The meetings don't often last long so I was worried but then again he was on work leave so I thought nothing of it.”

But later Morake decided to call him.

Morake went to bed and tucked in their children too. “All I remember was hearing a commotion and being woken up by a big bang, and my heart sank,” she said, That was when her neighbours called to say a car was going to be sent to her to deliver something. “A car, why, what happened?” she asked.

Then it dawned on me that something bad had happened. “All I recall seeing was his shoes peeking under a body bag and I wanted to inspect further.

“In fact, the police did not allow me the dignity to see him or take his personal belongings. That’s the least they could do after they selfishly took him away from us.”

The incident occurred after an illegal power connection was cut. The matter had its roots in the operation by Tshwane Metro Police Department and the SAPS to remove illegal connections at Leeuwfontein near Baviaanspoort on Tuesday morning. Metro police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the operation was a success as illegal transformers and illegal cables with an estimated value of R800 000 were removed.

However, at about 10pm, the department received complaints about members of the community illegally cutting power in the area. “A vehicle was dispatched to investigate. Upon arrival, our members found that the complaint was positive and community members were busy rejoining,” Mahamba said. “The crowd were uncontrollable when they saw officers and members had to call for back-up.”

As the residents cleared up, metro police officers noticed a resident lying on the ground. “It turned out that he was hit by a rubber bullet.”

Yesterday, roads in Baviaanspoort were blocked as residents marched to the Mamelodi East Police Station seeking answers.

Pretoria News

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