Call for probe into baby's 'teargas' death

2014-03-02 09:44


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Johannesburg - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) must investigate circumstances surrounding the death of a 3-month old baby in Majakaneng, North West's acting premier Paul Sebegoe said on Sunday.

"We are saddened by the loss of life of the infant and wish to appeal for calm while we await the outcome of a post-mortem which will assist determine the cause of the death," Sebegoe said.

The baby was found dead on Friday in Majakaneng, near Brits, Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said on Saturday.

"The family alleges that the child could have died due to inhalation of teargas smoke that was fired by public order police who were dispersing the protesting and illegally gathered crowd in Majakaneng," Ngubane said at the time.

"The information has it that the child, who was allegedly left with the father, was found dead... inside the room where the parents stay."

A used teargas canister was found near the outside of the room.

Ngubane said it had never been proven that teargas could be fatal.

"The investigation regarding this matter continues and a pathologist will be involved to conduct the post-mortem in order to determine the exact cause of death," he said.

Sebegoe called on the Ipid to investigate the circumstance surrounding the death.

"We appeal to the community to exercise restraint, desist from illegal violent protests and give the interventions aimed at fast tracking water connections a chance.

"We cannot afford more loss of lives and destruction of public and private properties," Sebegoe said.

He said Eskom had committed to providing electricity to five boreholes that had been drilled in the area to augment water supply within two weeks.

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