S.Africa baby death probed after police fire tear gas

1st March 2014, Comments 0 comments

South African police are investigating whether a three-month-old baby's death was caused by tear gas fired by officers at a nearby protest, a spokesman said Saturday.

Police intervened when residents barricaded streets during a strike in the Majakaneng community near the town of Brits, northwest of Johannesburg on Friday, Thulani Ngubane said.

"Some things like tear gas and stun grenades were fired," the spokesman told AFP.

"According to the family, the child was with the father in a house and the child died instantly in his room. They allege it was because of tear gas," he added.

The family claimed an empty canister was found in their yard, Ngubane said.

South African police, which has been plagued by scandals and blunders, opened an inquest into the death and said it would conduct pathological tests.

An official watchdog's annual report said 431 deaths resulting from police action were reported over 2012 and 2013.

© 2014 AFP

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