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NC man in hospital after allegedly being shot by police

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A 22-year-old man was admitted to the Port Nolloth hospital after he was allegedly shot by a police officer.

A 22-YEAR-old man was admitted to the Port Nolloth hospital after he was allegedly shot by a police officer.

The DA in the Northern Cape has called for a full investigation into the alleged shooting on Sunday, as well as for the precautionary suspension of the police officer in question.

It is believed that the victim was fetching food supplies from a family member when the police tried to convince him to return home. He allegedly ran away after being stopped and told to go home, after which the police officer allegedly opened fire on the man. 

The police officer is believed to be continuing with his duties of patrolling the streets.

The Northern Cape police have still not responded to media enquiries regarding whether the officer will face any disciplinary measures.

DA provincial spokesperson for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Ofentse Mokae, said on Tuesday that the party was disturbed by the incident as well as the reality that SAPS have their hands full trying to enforce lockdown regulations.

“It is a reality that not all citizens are complying, making the job of the police even more difficult. We agree that those who flout the regulations must be punished according to the law, however, the use of excessive force, which could claim lives, is unacceptable,” said Mokae.

He stated further that SAPS members have been emboldened to act outside of the law during the lockdown period due to the “continued reckless comments” made by Police Minister Bheki Cele.

“This kind of behaviour is setting a dangerous precedent, which if not addressed now could end in even more tragedy later.

“The SAPS needs to urgently reboot and revert to the message given to them by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who emphasised that while lockdown offenders must be punished, police officers must also act with compassion and understanding, and be driven by a notion to save lives instead of taking lives.”

Mokae added that the party had written a letter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to launch an urgent investigation into the incident in Port Nolloth.

“The letter was submitted on Tuesday and in it we indicated to IPID that it is wrong for police to practice such brutality when dealing with citizens.”

A call was also made to the Northern Cape Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri, for the precautionary suspension of the police officer involved until the investigation had been completed.

“We want his firearm to be confiscated,” Mokae said. “The community should be protected from him at this time. At the same time, the officer should also be protected from himself and be made to undergo psychological evaluation and counselling.”

The DA further urged all citizens to continue to abide by the lockdown regulations.

“They should support our police officers, who, like all our other essential services workers, are working under very trying circumstances and risking their own lives to save ours. 

“It would, however, be a tragedy for someone to survive the coronavirus, only to have their lives taken by police brutality,” concluded Mokae.

No comment was received from the police.