Actor and activist Patrick Shai has been shot by police after trying to intervene during a protest about electricity in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Shai was rushed to Tshepo Themba Hospital after he took 11 rubber bullets from police on Monday. Speaking at his home in Dobsonville, Shai said he went to do an early television interview and decided to buy some items at the garage at about 9am.
After buying the items, he noticed that the protest which had gone on during the weekend was still on.
“I moved to the protesters and asked them not to burn tyres on the road. One of the protestors then tried to throw a burning tyre on the road. One cop tried to take the tyre and I said to the guy ‘don’t do it’. But one of the cops simply said asibaboniseni [let us show them],” Shai said.
“I told the cop 'you cannot say that'. I told him 'that is not the language you should be talking. We should be finding ways to minimise the potential for violence',” he said.
Shai said the police decided to run back to their cars. He was then left standing between the police and the community.
“I only realised that there was trouble when they pulled out the guns from the cars. I raised my hands and begged them not to shoot but they kept advancing. Instead of engaging me, they fired. I turned around and started running and I got hit several times,” he said.
Shai was shot in the neck, back, leg, and arms.