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By unknown | Mar 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

A 24km high-speed chase of a suspected criminal by police ended tragically yesterday when a passenger in the car was killed.

Police fired 19 shots at the vehicle carrying a group of young men who were allegedly driving at high speed.

The deceased, Tshepo Ramoshaba, 18, and his brother Piet, who were seated in the back of the car, were shot during the chase.

Tshepo was shot several times in the body and in the head. He died on the scene.

His brother Piet was shot in the leg and arm and was taken to Polokwane Hospital where he is in a critical condition.

The two brothers were driving with friends at about 10pm when the driver of the car allegedly ignored police who had motioned him to stop at a roadblock.

He allegedly drove off at high speed, causing the police to give chase.

The incident took place near Savana Mall on the R71 road between Turfloop and Polokwane.

The bullet-riddled car was testimony to the hail of bullets fired by police, smashing the front and back windscreens.

"Tshepo was shot several times and died on the spot," said the owner of the car, Nelly Malatji, yesterday.

Tshepo's father, Jan Ramoshaba, expressed disappointment at the police action.

"Police are hard-core criminals who believe killing people will secure them promotion.

"My son was killed not because the car was speeding, but because they wanted to show their bosses what they are capable of doing," he said.

"I know that white police officers always think that every black man is a criminal.

"How long are we going to be killed just for the colour of our skin?" he asked.

The tearful Ramoshaba senior, who described his dead son as "his precious gift from God", said the family was still weighing its options on whether or not to sue the police.

The incident comes barely a week after police from the same police station shot and killed a 19-year-old Ivy Park teenager, Jim Matlakala, for allegedly stealing two bottles of beer.

Spokesman for the police in Limpopo, Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba, said that police were investigating a case of murder and attempted murder against the officers involved.

Spokesman for the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), Dikeledi Phiri, confirmed that investigations were under way.


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