More police training needed: IFP

By Drum Digital
01 October 2013

Police need more training to avoid the use of live ammunition when dispersing crowd: IFP.

Police need more training to avoid the use of live ammunition when dispersing crowds, the Inkatha Freedom Party said on Tuesday.

"It is always said that police should not use live ammunition when they intervene in protests because they are likely to kill people," IFP human settlements spokesman Petros Sithole said in a statement.

"All police officers require more training in crowd dispersion techniques in order to avoid unnecessary deaths of innocent people."

He was responding to the death of a 17-year-old woman during a service delivery protest in Cato Crest, near Durban, on Monday. Colonel Jay Naicker said police were called to disperse protesting residents who were blocking a road. The police could not get their vehicle through and used an alternative side road. "About 500 people surrounded the vehicle. They started stoning the vehicle and broke all the windows. The suspects then tried to pull the police out of the vehicle," Naicker said. "They heard gunshots among the crowd. They fired shots into the crowd and the crowd dispersed... they used lived rounds. They definitely would have been killed by the crowd [otherwise]." The police left the areaand when they returned a while later they found a young woman had been shot. She died on the scene. Mnikelo Ndabankulu, spokesman for shack dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, identified the woman as Nqobile Nzuzua, 17, from Maphumulo.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) had opened a docket of public violence and one of murder.

Sithole said that the situation would not have arisen if the municipality had responded to residents requests for housing.

"These people have been living in shacks for years with no development in their areas.

"The municipality should not wait for residents to lose their patience before they attend to their grievances."

The IFP extended its condolences to Nzuzua's family.

Sithole asked residents to remain calm and allow the Ipid to deal with the matter.

-by Sapa

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