Cop accidentally shoots himself in foot at protest

2015-08-13 16:10
Police monitor a protest in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

Police monitor a protest in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

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Port Elizabeth - Three people, including a police officer, were injured and five more arrested during violent protests in Walmer in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning.

The policeman accidentally shot himself in the foot when his gun went off.

Police spokesperson, Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg, said an elderly woman broke her leg when she fell while police were dispersing the crowd in front of the Walmer police station.

Janse van Rensburg said she did not have the woman's details, but confirmed that she had been treated by paramedics on the scene for a broken leg and had been taken to hospital.

Another man was injured after allegedly being hit on the head by a rock thrown by protestors.

Janse van Rensburg also confirmed that police officer Damian Bennett had been injured on duty when his shotgun accidentally went off.

Bennett had been part of a group of riot police officers and was standing in line with the barrel of his shotgun resting on his foot when it went off.

Although the weapon was loaded with rubber bullets, he sustained a serious injury to his foot, which was bleeding profusely, and was rushed by colleagues to St George's Hospital.

A woman is attended to after being injured. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

Crowds dispersed

Police had earlier dispersed the protestors, who had gathered outside the Walmer police station demanding the release of a 36-year-old man arrested earlier for public violence.

Janse van Rensburg confirmed police had used stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets to move the crowd.

"The crowd was then directed back up from Main Road in Walmer, up 9th Avenue to the intersection of Heugh Road and 9th, where they were addressed by members of the municipality."

Janse van Rensburg said a further five people had been arrested, including two more on charges of public violence, one for his involvement in the looting of a butchery in the area and two for looting at the Walmer Golf Club.

Small incidents of unrest flared up throughout the morning with rocks being thrown at vehicles from a distance and reports of looting. The protestors responsible would then disperse back to the safety of the shacks as police retaliated with rubber bullets.

Many were seen walking armed with knobkieries and sticks while others danced with rocks in their hands.

A number of protestors, many of whom were children and teenagers, continued to toyi-toyi up and down Heugh Road between 8th Avenue and Victoria Drive at lunchtime, but slowly dispersed as police kept a watchful eye on the situation.

Burning tyres, rubble and even large tree stumps littered the roads, with Heugh Road still closed to traffic in both directions.

The police water cannon moved from intersection to intersection putting out the smouldering remains of burnt tyres.

Protests in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. (Derrick Spies, News24 Correspondent)

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  protests

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