Two people die as Limpopo protest march ends in tragedy

Picture for illustration. Protestors on a barricaded road during a protest by residents of Tokyo informal settlement on Lower Boksburg road in Germiston, 15 September 2020. They are protesting over the lack of electricity in the area. Picture: Neil McCartney

A woman collapsed and died while allegedly being chased by police, while two protesters – of whom one died – were shot in an alleged scuffle with a taxi driver.

A service delivery protest march between Groblersdal and Marble Hall in Sekhukhune has left two people dead and one fighting for his life in a Limpopo hospital.

The march took place on Tuesday and Wednesday in Masakaneng village, outside Groblersdal, when angry residents clashed with police during the service delivery protest.

According to reports, an angry crowd in Masakaneng took to the streets in a push to force government to deliver basic services such as water, roads, electricity and low-cost housing. To demonstrate their anger, the residents burnt tires and barricaded the busy road between Groblersdal and Marble Hall.

Matters came to a head when some of the protesters allegedly entered a local vineyard and stole the grapes before setting the farmhouse alight. Police were called to the scene and, on arrival, a scuffle ensued between the enraged community and police.

“They started chasing us in their hippos and shot at us with rubber bullets,” said one of the protesters, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“One of the women became overwhelmed and collapsed, with police right on her heels.

“The petrified woman was rushed to the hospital but, unfortunately, she was certified dead on arrival.

“Two other protesters were later shot during a scuffle with a taxi driver, who shot two male protesters before fleeing the scene.

“One of the victims was shot in the thigh while the other victim was shot in his genitals.

“Unfortunately, the one that was shot in the genitals succumbed to his injuries. The other victim is fighting for his life,” added the source.

Limpopo police confirmed they are investigating the death of the woman but had no feedback on the alleged shooting involving the taxi driver and protesters.

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