Probe councillor's death at Marikana: NGO

2012-09-20 12:30
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Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa must investigate the killing of ANC councillor Pauline Masutlhe in Marikana, allegedly by a rubber bullet, the Marikana Solidarity Campaign said on Thursday.

"We call on the minister of police to immediately initiate an urgent investigation into Pauline Masutlhe's death, and for the immediate identification and suspension of the police officers involved in her murder," spokesperson Mark Heywood said in a statement.

"Given what is known of the time and place of this attack, this should not be difficult. Witnesses are available and willing to provide evidence if their safety can be guaranteed."

Masutlhe died at Job Shimankane Tabane Hospital, in Rustenburg, on Wednesday after being operated on to remove a rubber bullet fired by the police.

Heywood said Masutlhe was shopping in Nkaneng informal settlement near Wonderkop at 09:00.

At the time, police were conducting a raid to disarm striking mine workers.

"As far as we can ascertain from other people present at the time, Pauline sustained rubber bullet wounds to her right knee and abdomen. Several other women were also injured."

'Police brutality'

The Marikana Solidarity Campaign would organise a women's demonstration against police brutality on Saturday at 11:00 in Marikana.

The inter-ministerial committee (IMC) and the office of the North West premier conveyed their condolences on the death of Masutlhe.

"We are deeply saddened to lose a dedicated person of Councillor Masutlhe's calibre, said Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, who heads the IMC.

"She was very instrumental in providing support to the IMC while it was discharging its responsibilities in Marikana. Our hearts are with the Masutlhe family at this time," he said.

Masutlhe was part of the team that worked with the IMC to resolve the Marikana matter, and provided support to the families of the deceased, the IMC said.

She was a proportional representation councillor in the Madibeng Local Municipality and served at Bonjanala District Municipality, representing the African National Congress.

Lesiba Kgwele, spokesperson for the North West provincial government, said Premier Thandi Modise had appealed for calm and urged the relevant authorities to investigate, if it was found that Masutlhe had not died of natural causes.

"The premier conveys her condolences to the family and said the provincial government will do anything possible to show them support," Kgwele said.

The cause of death had not be established, as a post mortem still had to be conducted.
Read more on:    police  |  nathi mthethwa  |  mahikeng  |  mining unrest  |  police brutality

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