Po­lice charged af­ter boy, 14, shot

Cape Times - - NEWS - Do­minic Adri­aanse do­minic.adri­aanse@inl.co.za

PHUMEZA DUBULA, 34, has wel­comed the charges of at­tempted mur­der brought against po­lice of­fi­cers who shot her 14-year-old son in the mouth with a rub­ber bul­let dur­ing the Hout Bay protests this week.

Protests erupted in Hout Bay when small-scale fish­ers were un­happy re­gard­ing the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries’ pro­posed to­tal al­low­able catch re­duc­tion for the West Coast rock lob­ster.

Res­i­dents joined the fish­er­men, align­ing their strug­gle with on­go­ing hous­ing and ser­vice de­liv­ery is­sues. They set benches on fire and used flares and petrol bombs, re­sult­ing in pub­lic or­der po­lice be­ing de­ployed.

Dubula said she had been un­able to leave her son Ona’s side while he re­cov­ered in Groote Schuur Hos­pi­tal af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery to re­move a rub­ber bul­let from his mouth.

“I’ve not eaten for three days as my child is un­able to eat. I could have lost my son and it’s right that they (po­lice of­fi­cers) face at­tempted mur­der charges,” said Dubula.

“I gave a state­ment to po­lice of­fi­cers who said they would be in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter.”

She said doc­tors were still at­tend­ing to Ona and she was wait­ing to find out the sever­ity of the dam­age to her son’s tongue.

A video has gone vi­ral of po­lice of­fi­cers fir­ing on Ona and two women res­i­dents from Hang­berg as they hid be­hind a wooden bench.

In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid) spokesper­son Moses Dlamini said: “We have opened a case of at­tempted mur­der and our of­fi­cials will study the footage and in­ves­ti­gate the con­duct of the of­fi­cers dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

“I can­not spec­u­late on the sever­ity of the in­jury. Only an ex­pert can do that and we will await the re­port from our in­ves­ti­ga­tors.”

Po­lice spokesper­son FC van Wyk said a case of as­sault with the in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm had been reg­is­tered for in­ves­ti­ga­tion on be­half of the fam­ily.

The sit­u­a­tion in Hout Bay re­mained tense af­ter a planned meet­ing with City, pro­vin­cial and depart­ment of­fi­cials was can­celled. Hang­berg Peace and Me­di­a­tion Fo­rum’s Greg Louw said they were told that not all the min­is­ters or their deputies were avail­able yes­ter­day, fur­ther an­ger­ing the com­mu­nity.

Pro­test­ers set fire to de­bris and clashed again with po­lice near Har­bour Road, set­ting fire to a digger loader with petrol bombs.

City Law En­force­ment spokesper­son Wayne Dya­son said flares were fired at po­lice and the road to Hang­berg was blocked off, but no in­juries were re­ported.

Picture: HENK KRUGER/ANA

FIRE FORCE: Pub­lic or­der po­lice in Har­bour Road in Hout Bay, where hun­dreds of Hang­berg res­i­dents protested over fish­ing per­mits, quota al­lo­ca­tions and hous­ing.

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