Police ‘investigating protest killing’

2011-05-31 10:29

An investigation is under way into the circumstances leading to the death of a 21-year-old man during a protest in Tlokweng, in North West.

“The information we have is that the police were informed of a body that was found there.

It is not confirmed that the man was shot by police,” said the police’s Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

“The situation there was very volatile so it is difficult to tell who shot ... whether it was during the confrontation with police, we don’t know until it is rightfully confirmed.”Ngubane said the Independent Complaints Directorate had been called in and would investigate.A case of murder was being probed.

The North West department of public safety said today that a 21-year-old man was shot in a “skirmish” with police during a protest in Tlokweng yesterday.

“He was part of a group that attacked police.

A police vehicle was burned, shots were fired,” said spokesperson Lesiba Moses Kgwele.The man was shot during a protest in which residents of Tlokweng near Swartruggens blocked a road passing through the village with stones and burning objects.

Residents went on the rampage on Sunday after the funeral of Thabiso Moloi, whose decomposing body was found in the bush. They suspected that Moloi was killed for muti.

Buses transporting people to work were stopped and schoolchildren were not allowed to go to school.A car and house – belonging to the owner of the tavern at which Moloi was last seen – were torched and the tavern owner was intimidated.

Kgwele said the situation was “tense but calm” today after a lengthy meeting between the community and public safety MEC Desbo Mohono last night.

“MEC Mohono and senior police engaged community leaders and structures in a bid to mediate for restraint for villagers to give the investigations into the alleged ritual murder of Thabiso Moloi a chance,” he said.

Last month, SABC television news showed footage of a group of police officers beating and shooting protester Andries Tatane at a protest in Ficksburg, in Free State.Eight officers are currently on trial for allegedly assaulting and murdering Tatane.

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