Makhubele: No arrests made in Vanderbijlpark

One person died yesterday during a confrontation between the Vanderbijlpark SAPS and a group of Nigerians after police tried to raid an alleged drug den in Vanderbijlpark.

The Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele says  no arrests have yet been made in Vanderbijlpark. Makhubele said six police officers have been hospitalised after they were injured on the scene. “Police will today hold a meeting to find a resolution to the confrontation that transpired yesterday between the Vanderbijlpark SAPS and Nigerians.”

It is reported that the chaos erupted when a group of Nigerians accused the police of having killed one of their own. The confrontation took place at about 10:00 on the morning of October 10 when police raided an alleged drug den in De Forest Street.  Nigerians on the scene said police officers came around to collect bribe money.

According to the deceased’s girlfriend, there were three Nigerians in the house and they were drinking at the time.  A witness only known as Ebrahim alleged that of the policemen pulled a bag over the victim’s head and sprayed tear gas into the bag. The man was later discovered dead. Friends and family took the deceased’s body and placed it on the patrol vehicle of the police officers.  They removed the blanket covering the body and taunted the police by swearing at them and pointing to the body saying,  “This is what you are doing to us.”

Friends, family, other Nigerians and many onlookers suddenly appeared on the scene and chaos broke out. A group of Nigerians surrounded the police officer and one of them hit him in the face. The policeman withdrew his fire-arm and fired two warning shots into the ground. When this happened the angry Nigerians stormed and assaulted the police officer. One of the Nigerians claims that a stray bullet from the warning shots hit him in the leg.

After the shooting incident there were minor incidents where the windows of two vehicles were shattered. Another policeman was taunted and chased away from the scene.  The Nigerian Ambassador accompanied by another person from the embassy in Pretoria later arrived and tried to bring calm to the situation.


Jannie du Plessis
Journalist Photographer

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