Rub­ber bul­lets fired out­side court

Po­lice used force against peo­ple protest­ing against al­leged as­sault of girl, 9, by two farm­ers.

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE - Rorisang Kgosana ror­isangk@cit­i­zen.co.za

Pros­e­cu­tor and NPA staff pelted by rocks and bot­tles as they ex­plain.

Po­lice fired dozens of rub­ber bul­lets and stun grenades at hun­dreds of Bronkhorstspruit res­i­dents who were protest­ing out­side the Bronkhorstspruit Mag­is­trate’s Court dur­ing the ap­pear­ance of two white farm­ers who al­legedly as­saulted a nine-year-old black child.

The shoot­ing left the mother and brother of the vic­tim in hospi­tal af­ter they were shot in the leg at close range while lay­ing de­fence­lessly on the floor.

Hun­dreds of ANC and EFF sup­port­ers were en­raged to learn that the al­leged per­pe­tra­tors, farm­ers Jo­hannes Pot­gi­eter, 33, and co-ac­cused Hen­drick Du­mas, 48, were re­leased on bail by the High Court in Pre­to­ria last month.

The duo face charges of at­tempted mur­der, kid­nap­ping, as­sault with the in­ten­tion to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm and point­ing a firearm af­ter they al­legedly tied the lit­tle girl to a tree while point­ing a ri­fle at her in Septem­ber. The Grade 5 pupil was cap­tured by the ac­cused when she was walk­ing her dog with her younger brother and two friends, who man­aged to es­cape the at­tack.

Yes­ter­day, af­ter the mat­ter was post­poned to March 13 next year, a mob gath­ered, await­ing chief pros­e­cu­tor Ma­tric Luphondo to give an ex­pla­na­tion of the rul­ing.

But while Luphondo and NPA staff walked out of the court, they were pelted by rocks and bot­tles. The po­lice re­sponded by fir­ing ru­ber bul­lets at the crowd.

The fa­ther of the vic­tim, Jack Le­godi, said he was dis­ap­pointed that po­lice turned on those who sup­ported his fam­ily, in­clud­ing his wife and son.

“They shot my wife and son. How am I go­ing to tell my daugh­ter her mother and brother were shot while at­tend­ing her case? Where is the jus­tice in this?” –

Pic­ture: Jac­ques Nelles

COME AND GET ME. A pro­tester taunts the po­lice out­side the Bronkhorstspruit Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day, af­ter two farm­ers ap­peared for as­sault­ing and point­ing a firearm at a nine-year-old girl.

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