Pretoria police wound two, nab three over Bushiri ‘protest’

A fire was started along Soutter Street, west of Pretoria by an unknown group marking the third day of demonstrations outside the Tshwane Events Centre. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. Sanco also slammed reports that they were set to meet with lawyers on Monday.

Two people were shot, and three others arrested when police apparently pounced on them “unprovoked” as they were leaving a tavern in the west of Pretoria on Sunday afternoon, reports Pretoria Moot Rekord.

The individuals were alleged to have been behind the fire that broke out in Soutter Street during the #BushiriMustGo demonstrations outside the Tshwane events centre.

Protests broke out late last week in the west of Pretoria against prophet Shepherd Bushiri after the deaths of three women a week earlier during a stampede.

ALSO READ: Bushiri followers take on ‘sons of vipers’ Sanco protesters in Pretoria

Community members, SA national civics organisation (Sanco), and other organisations were angered when the bodies of the victims were allegedly removed from the church and taken to a mortuary without the relevant authorities being notified.

The angry group now wants the prophet’s church to be closed down and for him to leave the country.

One of the injured people, known to Pretoria Moot Rekord as Benjamin, said the group was walking out of a tavern when police started shooting at them.

Earlier in the day, would-be picketers and police were involved in an argument about the starting of a fire at the entrance of Bushiri’s church at the Tshwane Events Centre gate and along WF Nkomo (formerly Church) street. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

Benjamin said although he was shot in the leg, he was able to get into his vehicle and drive away. Another man who was with the group was injured in the wrist and managed to get a lift from a passing motorist, while the other three were unable to get away.

One of the men who managed to run away was run with a rubber bullet in the leg. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

One of the arrested was only transported to a hospital after spending more than three hours in a police holding cell with a severely bleeding face, claimed Sanco.

The man pictured was shot in the face with rubber bullets and only transported to a hospital after spending over three hours in a police holding cell. Photo: Keitumetse Maako

The trio, among them Sanco ward 58 deputy chairperson Kabelo Tladinyane, were charged with public violence at the Pretoria West police station and later transferred to Pretoria Central police station.

Sanco regional secretary Portia Mokoena said the organisation was waiting for feedback from regional chairperson Matlakala Mashishi about the alleged “police brutality”.

Mokoena denied reports that the organisation was due to meet with the controversial prophet’s lawyers on Monday.

“They’re just making up stories,” she said.

A community member known as Clifton told Pretoria Moot Rekord a fourth woman had died from her injuries on Friday evening.

Pretoria West police spokesperson Constable Sibongile Vuma confirmed three men were arrested and dockets of public violence opened before referring further queries to Central police spokesperson Captain Augustinah Selepe.

Selepe was yet to respond to Pretoria Moot Rekord’s inquiry at the time of going to press.

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