Violence erupted in Saselamani on Sunday night when residents attempted “to attack the police station” and in the process damaged a police vehicle, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
The violent protest was apparently sparked by the murder of 16-year-old Wisani Maluleke, who was shot and killed on Wednesday next to the Maphophe soccer field in Saselamani, Mojapelo said.
“The angry mob started barricading the Punda Maria public road by burning tyres. They then turned [their anger] towards the local police, blaming them for doing nothing to solve the case and, in the process, also accusing a certain local man of being responsible for the murder,” Mojapelo said.
Members of the Public Order Police were sent as reinforcements and they managed to repel the crowd. A police vehicle was slightly damaged when a petrol bomb was thrown.
“When the crowd finally dispersed, the body of a 26-year-old man was found in the vicinity, lying next to the road with a bullet wound. It is not clear at this stage who fired the shot but this will be determined by the unfolding investigations,” Mojapelo said.
The police have opened an inquest docket and are investigating charges of malicious damage to property and public violence.
The inquest investigation has been referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for further handling.
“One suspect, aged about 40, has been arrested on charges of malicious damage to property and public violence. More arrests are expected,” Mojapelo added.