Tavern shooting: cops probed

Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

Eighteen police officers from Hazyview, Mpumalanga, are being investigated after 11 people were shot in a tavern last month.

The Independent Complaints Directorate's Dikeledi Phiri yesterday confirmed they were investigating the shooting that took place during a police raid on a tavern in Shabalala village.

"We are investigating whether the police were indeed in danger as they have claimed.

"If we find that their lives were not in danger, necessary steps will be taken against them.

"However, the police have a right to protect themselves when their lives are in danger," said Phiri.

The officers apparently raided the tavern at midnight on the day in question, searching for illegal firearms and drugs.

They claimed some of the patrons refused to be searched, and forced had to be used.

Police claim that during the ensuing scuffle, 11 patrons were injured when they allegedly opened fire on the patrons using pellet guns.

Some of the wounded people were shot in the buttocks, back and legs.

The police, however, did not sustain any injuries, even though they claim the patrons attacked them with beer bottles and bricks.

Hazyview police spokesman Captain John Mbambo confirmed 11 cases of attempted murder had been opened.

The police, on the other hand, have opened a case of malicious damage to property against the patrons.