The Black First Land First (BLF) has condemned “in the strongest terms” the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Steven Kau allegedly by an Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD) officer.
SowetanLive reported on Tuesday that Kau was allegedly fatally shot by the officer during an eviction which turned violent from land occupied in the east of Johannesburg.
It was reported that live ammunition apparently struck the 23-year-old victim in the head after a skirmish on Sunday between residents in Etwatwa, Daveyton, and officers over the eviction.
The officer reportedly now faces a charge of murder with an additional one of attempted murder after he allegedly injured another member of the community.
In a statement on Tuesday, the BLF accused the African National Congress (ANC)-led Ekurhuleni municipality of killing Kau.
“The [ANC]-led Ekurhuleni municipality killed a black person who was putting into effect real land expropriation without compensation. Ekurhuleni is led by Mzwandile Masina who purports to be for radical economic transformation, and one of the pillars of RET is land expropriation without compensation. The question is, why kill those who are expropriating land?” the BLF statement reads.
The organisation called “on the people to continue to occupy land in honour of those killed in the struggle for land”.
“Those who died for land are our heroes. Their names shall go next to all other heroes who died for our liberation.
“BLF further calls on all self-respecting black people to shut down the municipal offices of Ekurhuleni and demand justice for those killed by Mzwandile Masina.”
It was reported that Kau’s mother was struggling to come to terms with the 23-year-old’s fatal shooting.
Kau’s brother, Alex, described him to the Sowetan as a kind person who loved his three-year-old daughter and wanted to build a home for his child, which is why he was part of the land invaders.
The spokesperson for the EMPD, Inspector Kobeli Mokheseng, said that although the department was aware of Kau’s fatal shooting, it dismissed reports that he had been killed at the hands of one of its officers.
“Members on the ground said the deceased was shot by one of the protesters. After the shooting, Ipid collected all the firearms issued to the officers for ballistic testing,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.