Calls for full investigation into claims police used live rounds during North West protests

24 April 2018 - 15:56 By Penwell Dlamini
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo.
Police patrol the area during violent protests on April 19, 2018 in Mahikeng. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the North West has called on the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe allegations that police fired live ammunition during protests in the North West.

Sanco said there were allegations that police used live rounds‚ which resulted in the death of 16-year-old Kitlano Leeuw‚ in ongoing protests in Taung. Sanco’s provincial chairperson Paul Sebegoe called for Ipid to investigate the claims.

The shooting allegedly happened on Monday evening in Taung Extension.

“We wish to convey our condolences to the Leeuw family that lost the life of their beloved son‚ and other families that lost their loved ones under these trying circumstances‚ as well as appeal for protests to be conducted peacefully and with dignity‚” Sebegoe said.

Protests have been going on in the North West province as residents called for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down. President Cyril Ramaphosa and the leadership of the ANC have visited the area but there is still no indication as to what decision will be taken on Mahumapelo.

The residents have accused Mahumapelo of corruption and put the blame on him for the poor service delivery in the province. What started predominantly in Mahikeng has now spread in other parts of the province. Shops were looted and public infrastructure during the violent protests.

These protests have had a devastating effect on the provision of health in the province.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has visited the province to see the impact of the strike to health services. Motsoaledi said the depot which supplies medicine to all clinics and hospitals in the province had been shut down. Suppliers have been instructed to send medicine supplies and other utensils directly to health facilities.

Sebegoe urged communities not to allow criminals elements to gain the upper hand in community protests.

“Looting‚ destruction of properties and attack on foreign nationals undermine the goal to highlight genuine service delivery concerns‚” Sebegoe said.

He said Sanco was hopeful that the allegations of corruption levelled against Mahumapelo’s administration would be investigated.

“Decisive action is urgently required to restore public confidence in governance and uproot the scourge of corruption which has stunted development and robbed our communities of resources to improve their lives‚” added Sebegoe.


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