Fourth death after S.Africa police crackdown on protest

20th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

A fourth man has died in hospital after the South African police fired rubber bullets at community protests a week ago, a spokesman said Monday.

"We can confirm that a fourth person died," said police spokesman Sabata Mokgwabone.

The 36-year-old man passed away Sunday night after police allegedly shot at protestors in a township west of the capital Pretoria last Monday, Mokgwabone told AFP.

"We can't say at this stage what he was shot with.

"No live ammunition was used. (It was) rubber bullets," he added.

Two others died during shooting at protests over cut-off water supplies in the Mothotlung and Damonsville suburbs of the town Brits.

Another person died when he was allegedly pushed from a moving police van the following day.

The country's human rights commission criticised apparent police brutality during the protests in a strongly-worded statement last week, and said it would probe the causes of the unrest.

The police watchdog is also investigating the deaths.

South Africa's police force has come under intense scrutiny since shooting dead 34 striking platinum miners in August 2012. Two officers present at last week's protests were also mobilised in Marikana, according to a media report.

Violent protests over substandard delivery of utilities are common in South Africa, but the latest comes months before general elections that will test the popularity of President Jacob Zuma's ANC government.

© 2014 AFP

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