A girl was injured at dusk in the Thembelihle informal settlement after she was trampled by protesting residents running away from police rubber bullets.
All hell broke loose after the member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for community safety, Tshidi Mfikoe, told protesters that their former ward councillor, the MMC for housing, Dan Bovu, had said they were going to be moved because their dwellings were built on dolomitic land.
Stones were thrown at the police Nyala armoured vehicle that Mfikoe was standing in with her upper body showing. Police responded by firing rubber bullets.
The girl, who was bleeding from the mouth, was unconscious for some time and had to be resuscitated before she was taken to hospital.
Shoes were strewn all over the vast open space, which can accommodate two football pitches, in the informal settlement.
In the evening, another man was wounded by a projectile that hit him in the neck.
About six cars were damaged late on Monday after they had gone through a main road bordering Lenasia and the informal settlement.
Earlier during the day, an 11-year-old boy was hit by a rubber bullet in the face, and a police officer was hit by a stone.
Police reservist Thulisile Tshwala said she had rushed out of the shack at about 11am with her son Tebogo after they had heard people screaming and a roaring police Nyala.
Tshwala said: “People were running in all directions and police were shooting, and I quickly ordered Tebogo to follow me into the house.
“Before I could get in, I heard him crying and he said: ‘Mama, I’ve been shot’. The Nyala was about 10 metres from my shack, which means the shooter was very close to my son.
“This definitely was not a mistake, and what is even worse is that he was shot in the upper body, on the face, which could have been serious if he was hit in the eye.”
Tebogo was taken to a local clinic, where his wound was dressed, before he was referred to hospital to determine the extent of his injury. His cheek was swollen up to the lower part of the eye.
Tebogo’s mother said he could have been safer at school, but pupils had not attended school on Monday because of the protests.
Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said it was unclear if Tebogo was hit by a stone or a rubber bullet.
“A medical report would reveal if it was a stone or a rubber bullet. His mother is allowed to open a case against the police if it is her wish,” Mogale said.
Police said 17 people were arrested and charged.
Mogale said police were also investigating reports that protesters had attempted to attack a councillor’s house on Monday. – The Star