Thu Oct 20 21:52:20 CAT 2016

Chaos as police 'fire on residents'

By unknown | Feb 18, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Chaos continued in Vukuzakhe township outside Volksrust, Mpumalanga, with the community accusing police of randomly firing rubber bullets at them.

Roads have been blockaded while schooling has been badly affected by residents and pupils demanding the removal of mayor Mapaseka Madonsela and municipal manager Lootz de Jager.

The residents say the two officials are failing to deliver services to the community of the Pixley Ka Seme municipality.

Nelisiwe Kallisen, 42, an interpreter at the Johannesburg magistrate's court, told Sowetan that she arrived at a chaotic situation in the area on Monday.

"This is my home. I work in Johannesburg and returned home on Monday only to be greeted by a number of police vehicles and a large contingent of heavily armed police," she said yesterday.

She said the roads had been barricaded and it was difficult to drive to her family's house. She said she saw "police shoot women who had locked themselves inside a house with rubber bullets without any provocation".

One of the injured women, Bonisile Shabalala, 31, said she and two other women were walking along the main street when armed police jumped out of their vehicle and accosted them.

"What else could we do? We ran into the nearest house with the intention of locking ourselves in but they followed us," she said.

Owner Rose Mavuso, 29, said she too ran into the house because the police were "aggressive".

"I was doing washing when I saw the police chasing the three women towards my family's house, so I too ran into the house. We locked ourselves in but the police forced the door open with rifle butts. They said they wanted all of us out of the house. While we were walking out they shot me in the leg," said Mavuso.

"If people contravene the law and put other people's lives in danger the police will act accordingly," said police spokesman Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi.

She said police at the scene told her that people were burning tyres and damaging property.


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