Thembelihle Resident Shot During Protest Dies

JOHANNESBURG – A Thembelihle resident, shot during a demonstration in the informal settlement this week, has died and the man who allegedly killed him is due to appear in court this morning.

The 33-year-old man died in hospital overnight.

He was allegedly shot by a Lenasia resident who opened fire on protesters.

It’s believed the group was trying to set an electrical box on fire and blocked parts of the K68 road near the Lenasia Medi-Clinic.

Earlier on Thursday a small group of protesters also tried to petrol bomb a house in Lenasia.

Dozens of people have been arrested since Monday, when the community first started blocking roads and calling for formal electricity connections.

Thembelihle resident Asana Ali says the protests are likely to continue until power boxes are installed.

“These police, they want people just to be quiet but now people can’t cook, we can’t find any food. We don’t want cars passing here because we want to call for government to sort out this problem.”

On Thursday, police arrested at least 20 people in the township.

Amid the deadly ongoing protest in Thembelihle, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, says negotiations need to be opened to evacuate the informal settlement once and for all because it’s been built on dolomitic land and cannot be developed.

The MEC has described this week’s violent clashes between protesters and police there as utter lawlessness and has condemned the stoning of passing cars.

Nkosi-Malobane says residents have been fighting among each other over access to services.

“Make sure that that area is completely closed down and those people are taken to proper houses where there are sufficient services for them in order to avoid situations where they fight with their neighbours in order to access services.”

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

Police have once again used tear gas and rubber bullets in Thembelihle where a small group of people have tried to burn down the house of a man alleged to have shot at protestors on 25 February 2015. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN