Home News S.Africa riot death toll climbs to four

S.Africa riot death toll climbs to four

Published on 24/01/2013

Four people were killed and 259 arrested during three days of rioting in Sasolburg, an industrial hub in the centre of South Africa, police said Thursday.

Two of them died when police fired into a mob of protesters that had besieged a police station.

“The police shot at the group and two African males were shot,” Moses Dlamini, a spokesman for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, said in a statement.

A third person was shot dead on Tuesday by a business owner who fired at a mob that had attacked his shop.

As for the fourth victim, Sam Makhele, police spokesman for the region, 80 kilometre (50 miles) south of Johannesburg, declined to give details surrounding the death, saying an investigation was still under way.

Local media claimed he was shot by a motorist.

Police arrested 259 people for looting, public violence and malicious damage to property during the three days of rioting.

Residents took to the streets to show their anger at proposed plans to merge their town with a neighbouring municipality, which they regard as poorly run and corrupt.

They barricaded streets with burning tyres and burnt down cars, with dozens injured as police fired rubber bullets.

The violent protests have forced the ministry of Cooperative Governance to suspend the plans to redraw the boundaries, following talks with community members on Tuesday.