“Their intentions are not known. At this stage, the group is peaceful and police are on the ground to maintain law and order,” Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said. More police from different units were sent to the area.
“Today the situation is still quiet in Bekkersdal and police are monitoring the area,” he said. On Wednesday, a local councillor fired shots into the ground when protesters tried to attack him. They ran away and no one was injured.
Police confiscated the gun and opened a case of discharging a firearm.
In a separate case a foreign shop owner was arrested on Wednesday for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Residents told the police the man had a gun which he had used to shoot and wound a 14-year-old boy. Officers searched the shop and found the gun.
The shop owner would appear in the Westonaria Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm. The boy was recovering in hospital.
In an unrelated shooting, a 20-year-old man was shot dead in Bekkersdal on Wednesday night. It was not linked to the protest, Dlamini said. A car pulled up outside a shack around 11pm on Wednesday. Two of the four occupants got out and insulted the two men standing outside the shack before shooting at them. One man was hit and died on the scene.
The assailants got back into the car and sped off.