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Thu Oct 02 14:30:53 SAST 2014

Families want answers

GRAEME HOSKEN | 24 January, 2013 00:08
TTP2CLEANUP24-23-01-2013-18-01-08-715-.jpg
Residents began cleaning up yesterday after three days of violent protests in Zamdela township, Sasolburg, in the Free State. The residents rejected moves by the Municipal Demarcation Board to incorporate Sasolburg into Ngwathe municipality, which they say is bankrupt Picture: ALON SKUY

In the bloody aftermath of the Sasolburg riots, which have left at least six people dead, questions are being asked about the use of force by the police.

The police have said they had no choice but to use live ammunition after millions of rands worth of property was destroyed, a police station stoned, vehicles torched and non-striking residents murdered.

The families of those killed by the police are demanding explanations.

Residents of Sasolburg's Zamdela township went on a three-day rampage - looting shops, and stoning and burning vehicles and warehouses - in protest at the proposed inclusion of Sasolburg in Ngwathe municipality, which they claim is bankrupt.

Fighting to control his emotions, Moloantoa Thulo, whose brother, Pule, was shot dead yesterday, said he did not understand why his brother had been killed.

"Pule and our cousin were coming home from work. They had spent the morning there after their bosses said it was too dangerous to leave.

"They went past the police station thinking it was safe," Thulo said.

The moment of Pule's death will haunt him forever.

According to their cousin, as they approached the police station officers opened fire. Thulo and his cousin, along with two colleagues, were caught in the shooting.

Pule was shot in the chest as he tried to help a man lying bleeding in the road .

His friends were shot when they ran to his rescue.

A friend driving past piled them into his bakkie and raced to the provincial hospital, where Pule was declared dead on arrival.

"All I want to know is why? Why did the police shoot him when they could see he was trying to help someone?

"It does not matter ... to the police we are all criminals," he said.

Thulo said the police had refused to help him open a case.

"It was only after we went to a senior provincial police commander that we were assisted.

"We are afraid, with all that has happened, that '[our case] will disappear," he said.

Malesiya Motolo is calling for an investigation into the death of her son, David.

"He was at a friend's house when men ran in and tried to hide. Police opened fire on everyone inside.

"They were not even given a chance ... surely you question before just shooting," she said.

Motolo said: "I want those who did this punished. They took my son and they must answer."

The police hit back.

"These were thugs," said a constable. "They were armed and dangerous. They killed people whose only wish was to go to work."

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini said: "Investigators will go to hospitals and mortuaries to gather evidence linked to alleged killings by the police.

"We are investigating two such killings and two attempted murder cases."

Police spokesman Colonel Motantsi Makhele said two people had been killed during the defence of the police station.

"We have arrested 256 people on charges of public violence, theft and possession of stolen property."

COMPLICATED DEMARCATIONS

THE Municipal Demarcation Board will today consider at least eight proposed changes to municipal boundaries that might be "complicated".

Of 205 proposals considered for demarcation - of which the incorporation of Sasolburg and Parys in the Free State into Ngwathe Local Municipality is one - the eight proposals would effectively incorporate or merge municipalities.

They include:

  • The merging of Midvaal (the only DA-run municipality in Gauteng) with Emfuleni Municipality;
  •  
  • The creation of a new district municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal that would amalgamate Indaka and Emnambithi local municipalities;
  • The Umgungundlovu District Municipality is to be categorised as a metro to include the Impendle, Richmond, Msunduzi, uMngeni, Mpofana and uMshwathi municipalities;
  •  
  • The "disestablishment" of the Greater Kei Local Municipality and its inclusion in Buffalo City;
  • The creation of a new district municipality in Mpumalanga to include the Thaba Chweu, Bushbuckridge and Emakhazeni municipalities;

  • Cutting the farm of Buhrmansklipkrans from the Pixley ka Seme Local Municipality (Volksrust) in Mpumalanga and including it in the Msukaligwa Local Municipality, while including parts of the De Goede Hoop and Uitspanning farms into Pixley ka Seme; and
  •  
  • Excluding a portion of a farm from the Greater Tubatse Local Municipality (Burgersfort) and including it in the municipal area of Fetakgomo.

Demarcation board chairman Landiwe Jackie Mahlangu said yesterday it would be premature to think of ways to prevent conflict during these processes.

"These things are only before the board meeting [today]," he said. - SCHALK MOUTON

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Thu Oct 02 14:30:53 SAST 2014 ::