Cops shoot naked man dead

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Police shot and killed a naked 23-year-old man who allegedly tried to wrest an R5 rifle from them on Friday at about 1pm.

The police had gone to a house at Sbayeni Block B in Tonga, near Komatipoort, after receiving information that a suspected burglar they had been looking for was hiding there.

When the police arrived, they claim, a man came out of the house stark naked, ran straight at them and grabbed the rifle that one of the policemen was holding.

"He was stark naked and please don't ask me why," Superintendent Abie Khoabane said.

"Had it been during the night it would have been understandable - but it was bright daylight.

"He ran straight at us and grabbed the rifle. A struggle ensued.

"One of our members fired two warning shots but the suspect continued to struggle for possession of the rifle. So he was shot in the stomach."

He said the "suspect" ran away but collapsed after having gone only about 800m.

Khoabane said the man was wanted by police in connection with a number of burglaries. H is 19-year-old alleged accomplice was also arrested on the spot.

Khoabane said the man's name would be released after his family had been informed.

The arrested suspect is expected to appear in the local magistrate's court today.