A police officer allegedly shot a city resident at close range, in Colville on Wednesday night, while a 12-year-old girl was standing next to him.
A POLICE officer allegedly shot a city resident at close range, in Agnes Street, Colville on Wednesday night, while a 12-year-old girl was standing next to him.
According to eyewitness accounts, three shots were fired, one in the air and two at Revelation Mashibane, 33, who was hit twice in the leg.
It is believed that the shots were fired following an altercation, where the police were under the impression that Mashibane had pulled out a knife.
A large police contingent were visible at the scene while residents complained about police brutality.
Elsa Gewers indicated on Thursday that her brother was shot in the yard of their house.
“The police initially came to the house to question him about a robbery, where he informed them that he was not involved,” said Gewers.
She added that her brother later left the house and was pursued by the police.
“He was carrying a rucksack. Before he left for the tuck shop I saw him unzipping the bag, where he took out a butter knife and placed it on the table. The police followed him and he ran back towards the house. They were pushing and pulling him in the yard. Shortly thereafter I heard the gunshots.”
Gewers indicated that her brother collapsed to the ground after he was shot.
“We were extremely worried that he might have been shot in the chest. There was no evidence of a dangerous weapon on the scene. If my brother was carrying a weapon at the time that he was shot, he would have been holding it in his hand or it would have dropped to the ground. The police also searched his rucksack.”
She added that her brother’s 12-year-old “granddaughter” was extremely shocked and traumatised.
“She was not provided with any form of counselling. There were a lot of other children also standing in the street. Neighbours in the street rushed to the scene after hearing the first shot being fired and asked why an unarmed man was being targeted. Three cartridges were left at the scene.”
Gewers stated that they would report the matter for investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
“We refuse to leave the matter unattended and will take legal action against the police. The police informed us that my brother will have to open a case but he has not been discharged from hospital yet.”
Colville resident Shaine Griqua added that he tried to calm the crowd of around 100 people who had gathered at the scene on Wednesday night.
“The community is upset regarding the hard-handed approach of the police. They complained that while they were too eager to shoot, it took forever for them to attend to crimes in the area. The police will have to restore a relationship of trust within the community,” said Griqua.
The police referred media enquiries to Ipid, while Ipid stated that the matter had not been reported as yet.