Minister of Police Bheki Cele addressed residents in Danville, Mahikeng, this morning where he listened to concerns raised by protesting community members.
Danville residents have accused police officers of racism, brutality and using live ammunition during protests.
Residents spoke to Cele ahead of a meeting convened by the ANC with its structures and alliance partners in the province. The meeting is expected to be attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and his deputy, Jessie Duarte.
One community member claimed that police were calling the area’s residents “Bushmen”, with another resident saying that police drove pass her yard and shouted, “There are the boesman, shoot them”.
Danville residents claimed that they were receiving threatening messages from a police general in the area, and that two days ago – when violent protests erupted on Wednesday – a Casspir entered the community and police inside were firing randomly.
The residents said they had in their possession video footage proving that police had used live ammunition during protests, saying this prompted them to retaliate by throwing stones at police.
Cele committed to returning to the area to address concerns raised by the community that pertain to police.
“We cannot allow our members to mistreat and ill-treat the community that’s why we will take the matter up and work with the leadership here […] and we will take decisive actions to make sure that our working relationship is much better,” he said.
Residents said a black BMW X3, that was allegedly being used by private bodyguards of a certain individual from Mahikeng, had fired shots at them even in the direction of children.
“It is the fourth time I am hearing about this X3 […] we are trying to find out who owns it,” Cele said.
The community members said the strike in Danville was not political but about service delivery.
Protests in Mahikeng broke out on Wednesday with residents calling for the North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down.