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S. African police probe killing during protest march

Published on 08/06/2011

South African police have launched a probe after two protesters were killed by live bullets while marching over high minibus taxi fares in a town north of Durban, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“A woman was killed on Monday and a man killed on Tuesday. They were both shot while protesting…They were taken to hospital and live bullets were found on their bodies. The Independent Complaints Directorate is investigating,” said Phindile Radebe.

She said police had arrested 207 people for public violence over three days.

Protesters started burning tyres and blocking streets with stones on Monday in the town of KwaDukuza when taxi fares went up from 4,50 rands to to 7 rands.

Police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the crowd. Protesters said they could not afford the new fare.

“We want them to increase it by 50 cents. That is what we can afford,” said Nomusa Dlamini, according to Sapa news agency.

More than 200 police officers and a police helicopter were monitoring the situation in the area on Wednesday.

During the protests, two cars, a truck and a police officer’s home were torched.

South African police commissioner Bheki Cele visited the area in an effort to find a solution to the standoff between the community and minibus taxi associations.