Police confirm investigation into shooting of Hout Bay teen

A policeman shoots a child during the Hout Bay protest. (Justin Sullivan)
A policeman shoots a child during the Hout Bay protest. (Justin Sullivan)

Cape Town - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has confirmed that a case has been opened against the police involved in the shooting of a 14-year-old during a protest in Hout Bay on Tuesday afternoon, September 12.

GroundUp reported that SAPS spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said: "A case of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm has been registered for investigation on behalf of the family."

On Thursday the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said that it was also investigating the shooting. Moses Dlamini of IPID told GroundUp that a case of attempted murder had been registered.

PICS: Police open fire in Hout Bay

The teen was shot four times and is in hospital recovering after two rubber bullets entered his mouth. He was also shot in the ribs.
 
Hout Bay's police station commander Lieutenant-Colonel Khuthala Nebhisi said that the case was being "handled by the IPID" and refused to comment any further before dropping the phone.

Full recovery

The 14-year-old's mother, Pinkie, said that the Hout Bay police and IPID had visited her son at Groote Schuur Hospital.

The teen, along with two women, was hiding behind a wooden table during Tuesday's protest.

READ: IPID to investigate shooting of teenage Hout Bay boy

A GroundUp reporter witnessed the shooting, and his version of events, in particular that a police officer shot the 14-year-old from about 2m, is corroborated by a widely circulated video taken by Peter Michaels.

"The station commander was here on Wednesday when [the teen] was still in intensive care. She urged me not to worry because the police had opened a case against the police who shot [the teen], on my behalf.

"On Thursday morning, IPID came and took a statement from [the 14-year-old] and said that they would be assisting me with the case from here on," said Pinkie.

Pinkie said that her son's speech was gradually recovering: "His tongue currently has a hole where the bullets were removed. He was able to give a statement to the police, although he had to take breaks, and he is currently eating through a feeding tube."

He is expected to make a full recovery.

The National Police Commissioner did not respond to questions from GroundUp. SAPS did not respond to questions asking whether either the provincial or national commissioners would visit the teen.

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