Man killed in rubber bullet shootout with Tshwane police

A man died instantly when he was hit by a rubber bullet fired by Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) officers at an “aggressive” crowd in Leeufontein, near Baviaanspoort, on Tuesday evening.

The officers were trying to disperse the group who was throwing rocks at them while investigating illegal power connections in the area, according to spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba.

The incident happened after a joint operation between the metro police, SAPS and electricity department over illegal electricity connections

Metro police received a complaint about community members who were reconnecting illegal connections in the area at around 22:00, after the team had earlier disconnected them.

“A vehicle was dispatched to investigate,” said Mahamba.

“On arrival, the TMPD officers found that community members were indeed busy with reconnections,” Mahamba said.

The crowd became unruly when they saw the officers, who then called for back-up.

Photo: Supplied

“When the back-up arrived, the crowd became more aggressive and threw stones at the officers and their vehicles,” Mahamba said.

That was when the officers fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse them.

“The crowd scattered and when they did, one community member was lying unresponsive on the ground.”

Mahamba said they were investigating the case internally.

A murder docket had since been opened for investigation by the SAPS and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

“The TMPD sends its condolences to the family of the dec                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        eased who is known, but cannot be disclosed at this stage before the family has been properly informed,” he said.

During the earlier joint operation, illegal cables worth an estimated R800 000 were removed along with illegal transformers.

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