Haniville community outraged at ‘police brutality’ after fleeing suspect is shot dead

2014-03-06 00:00

POLICE allegedly shot and killed a suspect in the Haniville area of Copesville yesterday, evoking the fury of community members who believed they should have rather shot him in the leg.

Community members who said they had been with Sbonelo Malinga (30) before he was shot dead gathered at the scene, crying foul.

A man who identified himself only as Shabbaranks said, “’Bo was with us when police confronted him and he ran because he knew they were looking for him. But instead of them firing a warning shot when they saw that he was getting away, they shot him two times in the back.”

Shabbaranks said he believed they were not safe any more because police would come back to finish them off because they were prepared to testify in court about what he called police brutality. “We even saw them planting a gun next to his body to frame him so that it seemed as though he had a gun, but we know that if ’Bo had a gun he would have shot them,” he said.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the shooting happened during a joint operation that was carried out by Pietermaritzburg Crime Intelligence, Mountain Rise Tracing Unit and the Mountain Rise K9 unit, which had started on Tuesday night.

“Police were looking for suspects that were terrorising the communities in Copesville and surrounding area. Three suspects aged between 24 and 26 were arrested at 1 am [yesterday morning],” said Zwane.

He said the search for outstanding suspects continued throughout the night and at approximately 11 am, the task team working in the area received information about three outstanding suspects that were in the Haniville area.

Zwane said the police team approached the suspects ,who fled on seeing the police approach.

He said one of the suspects armed with a firearm, turned and pointed the firearm at police, the police retaliated and the suspect was shot dead.

Zwane said all three arrested suspects will appear in court shortly on charges of armed robbery.

“An inquest docket has been opened for investigation by Mountain Rise SAPS,” said Zwane.

Zwane was asked about the allegation that police had planted a gun on Malinga, but said the matter had been taken up by the Independent Police Directorate and said that the allegations should be reported to them.

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