33-year-old Siphesihle Zikalala from Area-J in Steadville was walking home from the shops after buying prepaid electricity when a police car pulled up next to him on Monday (April 20) at about 11am.
According to the 33-year-old: “One of the policemen inside the vehicle had previously asked him if he thought he was special.”
Ladysmith Gazette reports that the next thing he knew, officers were shooting at him with shotguns loaded with rubber bullets. He was hit at least once in the back of the head and several times in the back.
According to Siphesihle, it all started when he popped into a shop near where he stays to buy prepaid electricity. Police came to the shop and demanded to know what he and another female customer were doing in the shop. He told them he was buying electricity. While he was waiting to buy his electricity, a police officer ordered him to leave and began counting down: “Three, two, one…”
He stood his ground and bought the electricity. One of the police officers then demanded to know if he thought he was special.
As he left the shop and was walking away, he heard something whizz past his head, hitting a nearby street pole. He decided to just continue walking, but was then hit by a rubber bullet in the back of his head. Looking back, he saw four police officers shooting at him with shotguns. They were laughing at him as blood poured down his back. They then sped away in their vehicle, leaving him dazed as he staggered home.
Later in the day, he opened a case against the officers at Ladysmith police station.
According to Brigadier J Naicker, a case of attempted murder was opened at Ladysmith police station after a man was shot and injured with a rubber bullet while walking in Steadville on Monday, April 20.
According to Uthukela Constituency Head and Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees, the Ipid are investigating the case.