Cops’ guns confiscated after teen (15) killed in protest

2014-01-27 08:56

A 15-year-old Limpopo teen who was on his way from the shops is the latest alleged victim of police shooting during protests.

Police could not say if the boy was killed by their bullets, but said they had taken in all firearms of the officers who were at the community protest in Relela village outside Tzaneen on Saturday.

The protest was sparked by community fury after the discovery of the mutilated body of Kgomotso Rakgolane on Friday.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the 20-year-old woman’s body was found by a passer-by. Her hands were missing and her stomach had been slit open.

“Her cellphone and house keys were found in her stomach and one arm was cut off and is still missing. We then took in two boys for questioning and while we were busy with them the community went out and torched their homes as well as that of the deceased woman’s boyfriend,” he said.

“The two boys were later released because they could not be linked to the crime but we’re still looking for the deceased woman’s boyfriend who we understand has since fled the area. We also had to go out and protect the families that were under attack and had their houses torched.”

Mulaudzi said police never shot at anyone during the protest but community members said shots were fired.

“We took the firearms of all members who were there for ballistic testing. We don’t know if it is one of our members or anyone else who shot the young boy but should it be revealed that it was our members, then there will be consequences,” he said.

A community leader, Herman Maloko, said the young boy’s family had said he was not part of the protesters and was on his way from the shops when he was killed.

“His family said he went past a group from the protesting community at the time when there was a confrontation or when they were dispersed by police and that’s when he was shot. He was taken to the clinic where he lost his life,” Maloko said.

“The situation has been bad over the weekend with streets barricaded with large stones and tree trunks. We’re trying to get the community to cool down so that these issues can be addressed without any violence.”

The young boy from Relela is the sixth alleged victim of police action during protests after recent protests in Mothutlung, North West, and Durban Deep on the West Rand.

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