R2K: Mothutlung a symptom of police brutality

2014-01-20 14:23
People queue to get water in Damonsville. (Alet Pretorius, Beeld)

People queue to get water in Damonsville. (Alet Pretorius, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The deaths of four people in Mothutlung was "a symptom" of increasing police brutality and growing attacks on the right to protest, the Right2Know campaign said on Monday.

"Too often media, civil society and government pay attention to the plight of the poor only once streets are barricaded and property destroyed," it said in a statement.

"What is ignored is [that] these are often the last act in long-simmering tensions that have no other avenue for ventilation."

This comes after news that a fourth person died following recent violent clashes near Brits over access to water.

Damonsville community leader Paul Hendricks said the man died early on Monday.

"He was shot in the head with live ammunition and taken to Ga-Rankuwa hospital where the bullet was removed," he was quoted as saying.

The man was in a coma and later died.

R2K said there was a need to address police violence.

"The Right2Know campaign supports calls made by various organisations to demilitarise the police, as we believe that this is driving greater police violence, including against protesters," it said.

"The increased use of paramilitary units to supplement protest policing is a case in point, as these units are mandated to use maximum force, rather than minimum force, as the public order police are."

Three others who were killed during the service delivery protest in Mothutlung were buried at the weekend.

Two of the protesters were shot dead, allegedly by police.

Another man died after falling out of a moving police vehicle in a bid to escape, according to police.

- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  right2know  |  mahikeng  |  service delivery protests  |  police brutality  |  water
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