Protesters' killings barbaric - SACP

By Drum Digital
31 January 2014

The shooting of two protesters, allegedly by police, in Relela, Limpopo, was an act of barbarism and savagery, the SA Communist Party (SACP) said

on Thursday.

SACP provincial secretary Gilbert Kganyago said in a statement that the protesters were unarmed and taking part in a peaceful protest when they were killed.

The actions taken by police were reminiscent of the apartheid security state, he said.

Limpopo police spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said on Wednesday that 15 police officers were injured and 19 police vehicles damaged when around 1 500 people, armed with petrol bombs and stones, attacked the Relela satellite police station on Tuesday night.

Two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed, allegedly by police during the confrontation. Nine people were arrested for public violence.

Mulaudzi said the intentions of the protesters were clear and the officers did what anyone would have done to protect themselves.

However, residents said they were shot at when they went to the police station to demand that police find the hands of murdered schoolgirl Khomotso Raolane.

Raolane, 15, was found murdered and mutilated in Mandlakazi, near Letsitele, on Friday, 24 January. Her hands had been cut off. Her cellphone and house keys had been placed inside her stomach, which had been sliced open. Her arms were tied behind her back.

Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Residents burnt their houses down on Saturday. During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police.

Kganyago said police needed to be seen promoting a culture of human rights, and called for an urgent investigation into the deaths of the two protesters.

"The SACP is deeply worried about the continuous acts of police brutality however sporadic they may seem. The loss of one life is one too many," said Kganyag

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