Nyala ‘jump’ fatal

2014-01-16 00:00

“WE are going to teach you a lesson.”

This was allegedly what a member of the police told two men from Mothutlung near Brits who were bundled into a nyala riot-control vehicle during a service delivery protest.

Ngoako Baloyi (31) and Lerato Seema (27) were allegedly assaulted in the vehicle and Seema died from a head injury he allegedly sustained in the assault on Tuesday.

The police say Seema fell out of the nyala, while community members say the police threw him out of the vehicle.

This left the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) now investigating a third man’s death in Mothutlung this week.

After two days of protesting in the town as well as in neighbouring Damonsville, the streets were quiet yesterday.

Baloyi said he, Seema and other men were making their way to the place where the rest of the community were staging their protest against water supply interruptions at about 6 am on Tuesday.

The residents of the two towns say they had not had running water for a week.

The police then allegedly dispersed the protesters.

“We just wanted to hear from the police why they were chasing the people away,” Baloyi said.

He said the police then started shooting at them. He and Seema took cover on the ground and were loaded into the nyala.

“A police woman hit me in there,” said Baloyi.

Another officer allegedly cocked his firearm and told the two, “These things [the firearms] work”.

Baloyi said it was to intimidate them.

“When the police’s nyala vehicle stopped to chase other people, I jumped out and ran [away].”

Baloyi said the police did not assault Seema in front of him. “They drove away with him. I do not know what they next did to him.”

Media Kola (40), said he later saw a bleeding Seema being thrown out of the vehicle by the police. She said she heard shots. The police called an ambulance.

Police spokesperson in the North West Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone, however, said the police were patrolling the area when the came upon a group of people who were putting barricades on the road. The police dispersed them and arrested two men for public violence.

“The first suspect reportedly escaped without injury. A few minutes later the second man jumped out of the vehicle, but fell on the tar road. He sustained a head injury,” Mokgwabone said.

Seema died yesterday morning in the Job Shimankane Tabane hospital in Rustenburg. His mother Audrey (43) said: “He was my firstborn [of seven children]. He helped me raise his brothers and sisters. He was like their dad.”

She said his head wound looked to her like a bullet wound..

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