Police deny using pepper spray outside Zuma speech venue

2012-07-13 07:01

Police have denied using pepper spray on a crowd outside the venue in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, where President Jacob Zuma delivered the Nelson Mandela Centenary Lecture on Tuesday, following the death of a man who apparently inhaled pepper spray during the event.

“I can categorically say police did not even have pepper spray on them,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi has said.

“It was not the police who discharged pepper spray. It could have been anyone who discharged it,” he said.

An ANC member in the crowd died, apparently after inhaling pepper spray outside the hall on Tuesday.

On that day, supporters of expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema entered the hall before President Zuma could speak and sang anti-Zuma songs.

“Then the ANC security inside the hall contained them and assaulted them,” Mulaudzi said at the time.

Five ANCYL members were bundled into a police van, given a warning and released.

When Zuma began speaking after 5pm, violence continued outside the hall.

The crowd pelted police with stones and a water cannon was used to bring the situation under control.

Yesterday Mulaudzi said the pepper spray could have been discharged by ANCYL supporters, or pro-Zuma supporters.

“It could have even been both sides. We are not sure.”

Alpheus Moseri (68) of Matatadibeng village near Denilton, died on Tuesday afternoon on his way home in a bus after the Nelson Mandela memorial lecture.

He began coughing, an ambulance was called and he was taken to Tsimanyana hospital, where he died.

An inquest docket into Moseri’s death had not yet been opened.

“We are not sure what caused his death, so we are waiting for the post mortem report first before we do anything,” Mulaudzi said.

The ANC expressed sadness at his death.

“It is unfortunate that this took place after a successful event that honoured the legendary Nelson Mandela,” spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

“The circumstances surrounding his death are still a subject of investigation.”

ANC branches had already visited his family and conveyed their condolences.

“Comrade Alpheus who belonged to ward 13 branch in Maradi village ... has a proven track record of activism in ... the ANC,” said Mthembu.

“It is not surprising that he was among those who wanted to honour president Mandela by attending a lecture on his role and legacy in the ANC.”

The ANCYL in Limpopo has called on the police to find the person who discharged the pepper spray.

It was convinced that only members of the SA Police Service had pepper spray, said provincial spokesperson Klaas Mabunda.

“Our members are not thugs who ... carry pepper sprays,” he said in a statement.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.