A man was shot dead during a land invasion attempt in Tembisa few days ago.
This happened when L&J informal settlement dwellers were trying to extend their squatter camp onto unoccupied land. Police were called to the scene were a scuffle between two groups broke as shack dwellers refused to leave, saying the land belonged to them.
In the melee, one person was shot dead and four others injured. L&J informal settlement community chairperson, Thomas Mokoena told The Star that residents were trying to extend their informal settlement when police arrived and demolished the structures.
“We have a problem with lack of space and were busy extending the shacks. That land belongs to L&J and we are staying there,” said Mokoena.
Over 15 shacks were allegedly burnt down and dismantled by police who were sent to evict shack dwellers.
“The metro police came here and started to burn down our shacks, shortly after that they started firing rubber bullets and live bullets ,” said Mokoena who added that they were unarmed.
According to Mokoena, the injured residents were rushed to hospital where one person later died.
“There was no protest; we were just peacefully going about our day. Apparently, someone asked them to evict us and they used force by burning down our shacks,” he said.
The 25-year-old deceased was allegedly shot at close range in the chest, another on the foot, while two others were shot under the breast and in the eye respectively. The South African Police Service provincial spokesperson Kay Makhubele confirmed the incident but refuted that police had fired live ammunition. He also said it had been reported that protesters had pelted rocks at the police.
“Police are investigating the circumstances that led to four protesters being injured and taken to hospital, following an alleged protest and land invasion incident at L&J informal settlement where residents allegedly blockaded the road and occupied the land illegally,” Makhubele said.
“Meanwhile, police are also investigating the death of a 25-year old man who reportedly succumbed to injuries following the same incident. At this stage, any other allegations at the disposal of the police is subject to investigation and can therefore not be commented on.”