Relela village, Tzaneen, Limpopo: Two protestors shot dead, 15 policemen injured, Relela satellite police station surrounded by 2,000-strong mob of petrol-bombers, stone-throwers:
TZANEEN, Limpopo - Police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), is investigating the deaths of two protesters in a village outside Tzaneen in Limpopo.
They also are already investigating the shooting-deaths at the hands of the SAPS in six other cases in South Africa since January 2014. DETAILS LAST PARAGRAPHS OF STORY BELOW:
Police have confirmed that (besieged) officers shot and killed two people in Relela last night. It’s believed they opened fire when they came under attack from around 2,000 community members stormed a police station, throwing petrol bombs and stones.
Fifteen officers were injured.The violence started last week after a woman was found murdered. Police arrested two suspects in connection with her death, but they were later released.
This sparked a protest on Saturday in which a 15-year old boy was shot dead, allegedly by police. Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega visited the area today to try and calm matters down.
Saturday's shooting comes after the body of a woman was found about 8km away in Mandlakazi, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
It was reported earlier by eNCAcom that 'the woman was found on Friday with her hands cut off, and her cellphone and keys placed inside her open stomach.
Mulaudzi said two men were taken in for questioning on Saturday. It is alleged that during that moment, one of our members [officers] shot at the protesting villagers, which led to the death of a 15-year-old boy.
"While we were busy with the questioning, the community mobilised and went and started to burn the houses of those two men, including one house that belonged to the boyfriend of the deceased woman," he said.
"During that time, police went in to try and stop them from burning those houses.
"It is alleged that during that moment, one of our members [officers] shot at the protesting villagers, which led to the death of a 15-year-old boy."
Mulaudzi said police also received information that villagers were planning to mobilise and burn down a police satellite station on Sunday because of the shooting.
"But that did not happen because police intervened." Provincial police had since instructed that all police officers who were at the shooting scene on Saturday hand in their firearms.
Ballistic tests would be carried out to determine who shot the boy. "We are still waiting for the results from the ballistic test. No officer has been suspended or arrested yet," he said.
No villagers had been arrested for the mob justice, but a case of arson had been opened.Mulaudzi said the two men who were questioned were later released as they could not be linked to the murder of the woman.
Police were presently searching for the woman's boyfriend for questioning. "We don't know where he is at this point".
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating the matter.
SAPS SHOOTS DEAD AT LEAST SEVEN PEOPLE SINCE JANUARY 2014:
Since January, at least five others have been killed by police officers in South Africa - FOUR shot dead during 'Drinking Water Protests'. ONE man in housing protest...
--- On January 13, Osiah Rahube and photographer Michael Tshele were killed in clashes with police in Brits during a protest for DRINKING water.
-- A third man, Lerato Seema, died the following day from injuries sustained when jumping off a moving Nyala, according to police.
-- Police said a fourth person died on January 19 of injuries sustained in the clashes. Residents claim the 36-year-old man was shot in the head.
-- On January 23, a 28-year-old man, Tshepo Babuseng, was shot dead by a police officer during a protest in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, over housing.