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National police commissioner appeals for calm after killings in Soshanguve

Two protesters were killed, a house and truck torched and police attacked during protests in Soshanguve on Thursday.
Two protesters were killed, a house and truck torched and police attacked during protests in Soshanguve on Thursday.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole has called for calm in Soshanguve Extension 6, northern Pretoria, after two people died and a police officer was shot in separate incidents during protests there on Thursday.

Sitole said a task team including crime intelligence and detectives had been mobilised to investigate the attack on police and the deaths of the protesters, as well as the burning of a truck and a private home.

Thursday's protests resulted in the blockading of a road at the taxi exchange spot in the Nkandla informal settlement near the M20 road. Protesters stopped and burnt a truck with a cargo of cutlery worth an estimated R700,000 at 6am.

Akasia police responded to the truck attack but were attacked by the protesters. One officer sustained gunshot wounds to his legs. He was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

The protesters then proceeded to loot a liquor store on Doreng Street. Members of the public order policing unit arrested two protesters for public violence. 

Looting protesters continued to another shop in the area, where the owner allegedly shot dead a 35-year-old man and fled the scene. When police responded, their vehicle was attacked and damaged.

The protesters proceeded to a house in Soshanguve Extension 5, where they broke in, stole music equipment and set the house alight.

When police responded to this scene, they discovered the body of a 30-year-old man across the street from the burnt house.

Sitole said the task team would investigate all of the incidents. “We have to bring those responsible to book as such behaviour is criminal and unacceptable,” he said.

On Thursday evening the situation in Soshanguve was reported to be stable and calm.

The two arrested protesters will appear in court soon to face charges of public violence.

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