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'He just started shooting': Police chief allegedly shot civilians during parking bay row

Bystanders say they were hit as bullets flew in the parking lot of a shopping centre in the Eastern Cape.
Bystanders say they were hit as bullets flew in the parking lot of a shopping centre in the Eastern Cape.
Image: iStock

Anele Ntlati was walking to work after buying lunch when he heard gunshots and felt his leg go numb.

"There was blood gushing out of my leg. I could not believe it, I had been shot," he said.

Ntlati was one of seven people who were injured when an Eastern Cape police station commander allegedly fired shots while attending to a row between two motorists over a parking bay at Qumbu mall.

The Daily Dispatch reported on Tuesday that the injured bystanders and Qumbu shopping centre management had accused police attending to the fracas last Friday of firing live ammunition.

Samkelo Mananga, hit by a bullet in the chest, said a woman in a Polo and a man in a bakkie were arguing over a parking space. "She then phoned the police. On arrival, the station commander asked no questions. He just started shooting," Mananga alleged.

Other victims were hit in the leg, abdomen and chin.

Vuyo Mbangatha, hit in the leg, said he was told he needed a J88 form from the doctor who treated him before a case could be opened.

The police station commander, contacted for comment on Monday, said: "All I can say is that police attended to a complaint, the suspects attacked the police and the police defended themselves."

Provincial police spokesperson Capt Khaya Tonjeni referred all queries to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

"Those people could have died. When you look at where they were shot, their injuries could have been fatal. They are all lucky to be alive," said shopping centre manager Bongile Ndilele.

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