THE family of a three-year-old boy is reeling from the shock after police allegedly shot and killed the toddler because they mistook a pipe he had for a gun.
In one of the most shocking incidents attributed to the police, who of late have been following "orders" to "use deadly force where necessary", police opened fire on the child in Rabie Ridge, Midrand.
The police found the child in a car with his father and uncle, whom they mistook for suspects they had been chasing.
Independent Complaints Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: "When they arrived at the house they found a car parked outside with occupants. The child was among the passengers.
"When they approached the car they saw the boy holding a pipe and allegedly opened fire. The boy was killed instantly."
He said investigators could however not find the pipe that had alarmed the police.
A police officer identified only as "Constable Malaka" of the Alexandra police station was arrested.
He has already appeared in Thembisa magistrate's court.
He remains in custody and is expected to appear again tomorrow for bail application.
Last week, also in Thembisa, police allegedly shot a man dead and wounded his mother after arriving at their home to settle a domestic violence dispute.
In another incident two off-duty constables, who were allegedly drunk, are facing murder charges after they allegedly shot and killed a vendor who had objected to them taking his sweets without paying.