South African Police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, has called for calm in Caledon outside Cape Town after two people were killed during protest action on Thursday morning.
According to reports, the deaths occurred while police were dispersing the crowd, with allegations doing the rounds that the two people died after being shot by police.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has been called in to investigate the incident.
“Therefore, it is our humble appeal that the community of Caledon remain calm and allow the investigation to take its course,” said General Sitole. “The Ipid is an independent institution which is mandated to conduct such investigations in an objective unbiased manner.”
The National Commissioner also directed that police cooperate fully with the investigation.
Caledon police confirmed that two people died and one was injured during the skirmishes, but said the details were unknown as the matter was still under investigation.
Western Cape Community Safety MEC Alan Winde said: “I am angered by reports of two deaths and one injury as a result of protest action which took place in Caledon this morning. My thoughts are with the families of the victims in this devastating time.
“It is alleged that there are political parties who are at the forefront of these protests. These parties are willing to put lives on the line to advance their agendas. We all have a right to protest and have processes to have our voices heard. Illegal action such as this puts the community and SAPS in direct confrontation. It also takes rights away from law-abiding citizens and has a huge effect on jobs,” he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)