Shot Mpumalanga EFF councillor sues police minister for damages

2019-07-15 06:05
EFF councillor Lebo Dlamini (Supplied)

EFF councillor Lebo Dlamini (Supplied)

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An EFF councillor in Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, Lebo Dlamini, is suing Police Minister Bheki Cele for damages after she was allegedly shot four times by a police officer during a service delivery protest earlier this year.

Dlamini is a proportional representation councillor in Ward 25 of the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality.

On Thursday, she told News24 she was shot on the night of April 16 while driving toward her home in Kwaggafontein from nearby Tweefontein village. At the time, residents were protesting on Moloto Road in Kwaggafontein.

Dlamini said the incident started when a group of police officers pulled her over near the R573 and instructed her to disembark from her car.

"They said they wanted to search my car to see if there were any petrol bombs in the boot," she added.

"As I was getting out of the car, one of the officers instructed me to kneel on the ground. He then kicked my phone out of my hand while I was kneeling on the ground. I tried to reach for it, and he shot me once in the breast, foot and twice in the arm."

'Scared of loud bangs'

Dlamini insisted she was not participating in the protest when she was shot.

service delivery protest, Kwaggafontein
Moloto Road in Kwaggafontein during a service delivery protest where Dlamini was allegedly shot by the police (Balise Mabona, News24)

She said she had to use her own medical aid for treatment at private health facilities because the state clinic was closed due to the protest.

"The incident also affected me mentally because I'm now sacred of loud bangs that sound like gunfire. I want justice and payment for being shot."

Dlamini's lawyer, Msebenzi Masombuka of JM Masombuka Attorneys, confirmed he was representing her in the litigation action against Cele.

He said they were still filing litigation papers and quantifying the amount of damages Dlamini would claim.

"She [Dlamini] has been assessed by psychologists who confirmed that she also suffered mentally as a result of the shooting," said Masombuka.

"We are also consulting other experts. And we have a strong case."

Mpumalanga provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said a case of attempted murder was opened in relation to Dlamini's shooting.

"The case is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate [IPID]," said Hlathi.

Cele's spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero, said she was not aware of the lawsuit and could therefore not comment.

IPID's national spokesperson, Sontaga Seisa, said he would check with its Mpumalanga structure and comment after getting information on the progress of the investigation.

Read more on:    police  |  eff  |  mbombela  |  protests
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