Expatica news

Two S.African protesters said killed by police

South African police officers allegedly shot and killed two protesters during a demonstration Monday over poor delivery of state utility services in a town near the capital Pretoria, police said.

The killings occurred in Brits, a town that lies between Pretoria and the Marikana town where police in August 2012 shot dead 34 striking platinum miners.

“Two people were shot dead, allegedly by police, and another two injured,” police spokesman for the area colonel Sabata Mokgwabone told AFP.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” he said referring AFP to the country’s police watchdog which polices criminal conduct within the force.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate said did not have any details surrounding the killings.

“Our investigators are still at the scene trying to establish what happened,” said the monitoring agency’s’ spokesman Moses Dlamini

Violent protests over substandard delivery of utilities such as electricity and water are common in South Africa, where state property is often set fire to in a venting of community anger.

Experts count hundreds of similar protests each year in Africa’s weathiest country, which is dogged by stubborn levels of inequality.

The latest protest come just months to crucial general elections expected to be a test of the leadership of President Jacob Zuma’s government.

A survey published at the weekend as the governing African National Congress launched its election campaign, showed a decline in the popularity of the party, partly over utility services.