Zuma adds his voice to concern about cops casually shooting

2011-04-29 00:00

THE policeman came walking out, stood next to the woman’s car and pulled off a shot. Then he turned around and walked through the gate again to the charge office.

This is how Sipho Baloyi, (45) a car guard who works in front of the Kempton Park police station at night, described Tuesday’s incident which saw Jeanette Odendaal (45) killed.

She was shot dead in front of the charge office by a 38-year-old police sergeant.

“She came to park here at about half past seven,” said Baloyi.

“I still helped her to pull in nicely and she gave me R12, but she sat in the car. I saw her talking on the cellphone.

“The next moment she started the car again, while she talked [on the cellphone] and the car jumped forwards and hit the back of the police van.”

Baloyi said he thinks the woman “may have been drunk”.

“I still tried to guide her when she reversed and hit the car behind her. I knew this spelled trouble, so I ran into the charge office and shouted to them that a woman had bumped their cars and ran back outside.

“The next moment the policeman came walking out, went and stood next to the car — I stood here next to him — and pulled off a shot. I got a big fright. Then he turned around and walked through the gate again to the charge office.”

Baloyi thought someone would come out again to look at the dead woman or do something, but nothing happened. After a while Baloyi went into the charge office again and someone said it would not help anyway to go outside, the woman was dead already.

“She sat behind the steering wheel and the bullet went up here [down] into her shoulder. I don’t think she lived long after he shot her,” he said.

Odendaal’s family yesterday morning went to the Germiston mortuary to identify her body.

Reacting to the recent deaths of civilians at the hands of police, President Jacob Zuma said at a media conference yesterday that the ANC is concerned about police brutality.

“We cannot have this culture from police,” Zuma told reporters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

“I must make it clear that we don’t want people exercising violence on protesters. We condemn it totally. [Ficksburg man Andries] Tatane was just protesting when they beat him to death. It is his right to protest. This is unacceptable and the police will have to correct this way.”

National police commissioner General Bheki Cele’s spokesperson said the recent shootings and other cases of alleged police brutality are isolated incidents.

“It will be important for us to treat those as isolated incidents instead of bringing them into one issue and cloud the matter around the issue of police brutality,” Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha, told SABC radio news.

“We cannot obviously deny the fact that in some instances our members can act beyond what is expected which is why … the ICD [Independent Complaints Directorate] will take the process forward.

“In all these examples there are investigations under way,” she added.

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