Rampage by cops, army ends in bloodshed

Date: 31 Mar 2020

THE blood-soaked and bullet-riddled bodies of two Gauteng men – one dead and the other in critical condition – have highlighted the alleged brutality of police and soldiers who are enforcing the national lockdown.

SAPS officers dispersed a crowd at a local shop in Rockey Street, Hillbrow, yesterday. One man was arrested after an unlicensed fire arm was found on him. INSET: Sibusiso Amos was shot dead in Vosloorus during an altercation with an Ekurhuleni metro police officer.

This past weekend police went on an alleged violent rampage across the country, beating up, abusing, humiliating and shooting at civilians. Several videos of the excessive force, mainly in townships, have been shared on social media while joggers, dog walkers, cyclists and surfers roamed freely in some suburbs. Four families were even recorded braaiing outside their yards in the Western Cape.

At least one person died violently, allegedly at the hands of police in Gauteng.

A distraught Nomayeza Amos, mother of 40-year-old Sibusiso Amos, who was allegedly gunned down by an Ekurhuleni metro police officer, relayed the trauma of witnessing the killing of her son inside the family yard.

This gruesome incident took place on Sunday afternoon in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.

Four children, aged between five and 11, were also severely injured from the officer’s alleged incessant shooting. They were recovering at home.

In a separate incident in Diepsloot, north of Joburg, a Zimbabwean is fighting for his life in ICU after a bullet allegedly fired by the police ruptured his insides.

Bernard Bandukandu was allegedly shot while walking in the streets with groceries he had bought for his children. This according to his brother, Prosper Mkoki, who said Bernard would undergo a life-saving operation this morning.

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has called for calm in the city, saying the alleged offending officer would be disciplined and that the mayor would visit the family.

“I wish to reassure everyone that we will not rest until all the facts surrounding this incident are brought to light. To our law enforcement officers, we call upon you to uphold your oath to protect and serve the people of Ekurhuleni,” Masina said yesterday.

It has emerged from Ekurhuleni sources and a city councillor that the alleged shooter was part of the EMPD’s peace unit, which was not allowed to be armed.

Ntombi, Sibusiso’s younger sister, who was at the family home when the shooting occurred, said she and her mother came outside and found her brother in a verbal altercation with police, who were patrolling the area.

Ntombi said Sibusiso was confronting police for allegedly shooting randomly at community members, who were supposedly outside their homes and drinking at a tavern on the same street.

The 21-day national lockdown, which is in its fifth day today, was announced last week by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a way of curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has infected nearly 1 300 people in the country and claimed two lives.

Ntombi said they dragged Sibusiso on to the veranda during the verbal altercation and pulled the slam-lock security gate shut.

“When the officer saw that the slam-lock gate could not open, he cocked his gun and shot my brother once in the face, and twice in the chest area,” Ntombi said.

The Star could not publish the gruesome pictures of Sibusiso’s lifeless body due to their graphic nature.

The Star also has shocking pictures of Bernard’s bloodied body, which was sprawled in the Diepkloof streets.

“When he started shooting, the bullets ricocheted off the tiles and hit my daughter in her back and my brother’s son in the face.

“My twin boy was shot in the hand, and the twin girl fell while running away and hurt her leg,” Ntombi added.

The EMPD apparently deployed its elite Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) unit to the area following a tip-off that people were disobeying the lockdown.

Fani Sibeko, an EFF Ekurhuleni councillor, who was at the Vosloorus scene on Sunday, said the alleged killer was not supposed to handle a firearm and wasn’t part of the Swat unit.

Police Minister Bheki Cele refused to answer questions about the alleged incidents while in Durban to assess the lockdown yesterday.

EMPD spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng referred all comments to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), which he said were handling the case.

Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said police were responding to reports that people were drinking at a tavern when the incident ensued, and confirmed that they were investigating an incident, where an EMPD officer and private security official were arrested for the alleged shootings.

The two will appear in court today. In regard to the Diepsloot case, Seisa said: “Ipid is not aware it. Now that we are made aware, we will dispatch our investigators.” |

By Khaya Koko - khaya.koko@inl.co.za

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