Mthokozisi Ntumba wrap: arrests, protests and a family in mourning
The family of Mthokozisi Ntumba has welcomed the arrest of four police officers in connection with his death.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Monday said the officers were from the public order unit.
The 35-year old was killed in Braamfontein, Johannesburg last Wednesday during a fees protest by Wits University students. The police had fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
Here’s a wrap of what happened:
Unidentified man shot dead: March 10
Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said emergency services responded to a shooting in Braamfontein on Wednesday morning.
He told TimesLIVE the man who was unidentified at the time was shot twice. He succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Ipid identifies the man: March 11
Ipid identified the man as Mthokozisi Ntumba. It said officers were at the scene gathering evidence and eyewitness accounts. Firearms were confiscated for ballistic analysis.
Directorate spokesperson Ndileka Cola confirmed Ntumba was not part of the protest and had left a doctor’s rooms when he was shot.
Ntumba was a husband and father of four. He was a masters degree graduate and worked as a human settlements planner at the City of Tshwane.
Cele visits Ntumba’s family: March 11
Police minister Bheki Cele, provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela and investigators from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) visited Ntumba’s family in Kempton Park.
Cele said the allegation that police officers killed Ntumba was becoming difficult to defend. He said he receives monthly reports from Ipid regarding police conduct.
The minister said some cases had been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority and the national police commissioner.
He said they were in the process of implementing some of the recommendations from the Farlam Commission. Cele said Farlam emphasised the importance of public order policing.
Politicians condemn police conduct: March 11
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the conduct of the protesters did not warrant resistance by the police. He said anyone found to have acted against the law must be held accountable.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said the loss of life at the hands of police should not be SA’s new normal.
Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association spokesperson Carl Niehaus said the police are behaving like the apartheid government.
‘He was a family man’: March 12
Sthembiso Jwara told TimesLIVE his cousin Ntumba worked hard to better himself and his four children. He said the family will struggle to fully support them and his wife.
Ntumba secured a bursary from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) to enrol at the University of Johannesburg in 2007.
Jwara praised the scheme for changing the lives of young people but lamented that Ntumba’s children might struggle to afford an education without their father.
Ntumba’s friend Thabang Sithole said Ntumba faced challenges through university but worked hard because he was determined to lift his family out of poverty.
Malema visits grieving family: March 14
The EFF leader offered his condolences to Ntumba’s family. He said the party would offer legal assistance to make sure government pays “for killing an innocent soul”. He also committed to ensuring Ntumba receives a dignified funeral.
Malema attributed police conduct to Cele’s “huge disrespect of black people”.
“Bheki Cele, when he speaks to white people he is soft and nice, but when it comes to black people, he speaks to us like we are his children. He is a reckless, useless minister,” said Malema.
Students call for renaming of De Beer Street: March 15
Student activists want the City of Johannesburg to rename the street in which Ntumba took his last breath.
They staged a mock renaming of the street and replaced an original sticker with Ntumba’s name.
Mayoral spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said due process must be followed to implement street name changes.
“The proposal to change a street name should be submitted to council. Then there is a public consultation where everyone is given an opportunity to give their input on the matter. The matter will be brought back to council to finalise,” said Ndamase.
Four police officers arrested: March 15
Ipid confirmed the arrest of four officers in connection to Ntumba’s death. Cola said the officers will appear in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on March 17.
“They are facing charges of murder, three charges of attempted murder and defeating the end of justice,” she said.
Family welcome arrests: March 16
SowetanLIVE reported that Ntumba’s family welcomed the arrest of the four officers. Jwara told the publication the family wants to see the officers, who are yet to be identified, face the full might of the law.
“Our hearts will find some comfort when these people are convicted,” he said.