Two protesters killed during Soshanguve protest

2019-04-11 22:26
Service delivery protests have sprung up in various parts of South Africa ahead of national elections in May. These protests follow on the heels of #AlexShutDown demonstrations.

Service delivery protests have sprung up in various parts of South Africa ahead of national elections in May. These protests follow on the heels of #AlexShutDown demonstrations. (Alex Mitchley (Screengrab))

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Two protesters were killed during a protest in Soshanguve Extension 6, north of Pretoria on Thursday. 

Community members blockaded a road in Nkandla informal settlement.

At around 06:00 the protesters stopped and burnt a truck that was carrying a cargo of cutlery believed to be worth an estimated amount of R700 000, police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said. 

Muridili added that when police responded, they were attacked and one officer sustained gunshot wounds to both his legs. 

The officer was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition. 

The protesters proceeded to loot the liquor store on Doreng Street when Public Order Police arrived on the scene and arrested two people for public violence.

"The police managed to stabilise the situation at Doreng Street. However, later in the day the protesters continued with their intentions to loot and it is alleged that during the commotion at one of the shops, the owner fatally shot a 35-year old man and fled the scene. When police responded to this scene, their vehicle was attacked and damaged," she said.

Protesters then went on and set alight a house in Extension 5 where they also stole musical equipment.

SCROLL: AS IT HAPPENED: Transport services disrupted as protests continue across the country

When police responded, they discovered the body of a 30-year-old man across the street from the burnt house, Muridili said.

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has condemned the acts of violence and called upon the community to be calm and tolerant.

"A multi-disciplinary task team, which includes Crime Intelligence and seasoned detectives, has been mobilised to investigate the attack on police, the death of the two protesters and the burning of the truck and private home. We have to bring those responsible to book as such behaviour is criminal and unacceptable," said Sitole.

Sitole appealed to community leaders to try and resolve their dissatisfaction with the relevant stakeholders in an amicable manner.

"I call on the community of Soshanguve to be calm as public violence is no solution to any problem but rather a crime which is punishable by law," added Sitole. 

The situation in Soshanguve is now reported to be stable and calm and Public Order Police continue to monitor the situation.

"The police's crime scene management ,which include the local criminal record centre, crime scene investigators as well as senior Tshwane region management, visited the scene to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the quest to trace and apprehend all perpetrators that masqueraded as protesters while advancing their criminal and violent activities that took the lives of two protesters," said Muridili.

The two arrested protesters arrested for public violence are to appear in court soon.

Read more on:    crime  |  protests  |  service delivery

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