Man shot and killed as Tshwane metro police officers fire rubber bullets to disperse crowd

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TMPD is investigating the case internally, while the police and IPID are also investigating a case of murder.(Photo: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images/File)
TMPD is investigating the case internally, while the police and IPID are also investigating a case of murder.(Photo: Jaco Marais/Gallo Images/File)
  • An unidentified man has been shot and killed by Tshwane metro police officers.
  • The man was allegedly part of a crowd attempting to reconnect illegal electricity connections near Baviaanspoort on Tuesday evening.
  • The metro police have said they used rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowd, who pelted officers with stones.

Tshwane metro police officers have allegedly shot and killed a man when they tried to disperse an unruly crowd near Baviaanspoort.

The incident happened after illegal electricity connections were disconnected.

The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD), the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Electricity Department embarked on an operation to remove illegal connections in Leeufontein near Baviaanspoort in Tshwane on Tuesday morning.

TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said the operation was a success as illegal transformers and illegal cables with an estimated value of R800 000 were removed.

READ HERE | Ten years after Andries Tatane was killed, the police's misuse of rubber bullets is still unchecked

However, at around 22:00, TMPD received a complaint about community members illegally reconnecting electricity in the area.

"A vehicle was dispatched to investigate. On arrival, the TMPD members found that the complaint was positive and that community members were busy with reconnections," Mahamba said.

"The crowd became unruly when they saw the officers and the TMPD members had to call for backup."

"When the backup arrived, the crowd became more aggressive and threw stones at the TMPD members and their vehicles."

Mahamba said metro police officers dispersed the crowd by firing rubber bullets.

WATCH | Electricity cable thieves in tug of war with metro cops

As residents ran in different directions and the crowd cleared, metro police officers saw one resident lying on the ground.

"It was discovered that he had been hit with a rubber bullet and unfortunately died instantly," Mahamba said.

According to Mahamba, TMPD is investigating the case internally, while the police and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) are also investigating a case of murder.

"The TMPD sends condolences to the family of the deceased, who is known but cannot be [named] at this stage to ensure that the family has been properly informed."

The shooting occurred on the tenth anniversary of the death of Andries Tatane, who also died after being shot with rubber bullets at close range by police in Ficksburg in the Free State during a service delivery protest.

In March this year, Mthokozisi Ntumba was shot by police officers as he left a clinic in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, while police were attempting to disperse Wits University students who were protesting over funding.

During the bail applications of the four police officers charged with Ntumba's murder, it was revealed that he had been shot and killed with a rubber bullet from approximately 4 metres. 

This is a developing story.

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