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Crime & Accidents News
17 March 2017

Rustenburg – A tavern raid soon turned into a nightmare when shots fired by the police, led to the deaths of community members. The incident occured around 10 o’clock at Silver’s tavern on the Dinie estates road. “There were four police officers, two male and two female.

Killings at tavern leads to unrest on R24
Killings at tavern leads to unrest on R24

People were shot dead in front of me.” an anonymous witness told the Platinum Weekly newspaper in an interview on Wednesday, 15 March 2017. “Two people died at the tavern. One person is in hospital.” According to the witness the bodies of two guys who managed to run away were found the next moring at a bridge closeby. “And thát is why we are protesting on the R24. We want answers!” he said.

One of the many vehicles stoned. This photo was taken in Kroondal.
One of the many vehicles stoned. This photo was taken in Kroondal.

Another person interviewed said, “I was one of the witnesses who was taken by the Police to the Rustenburg Police Station to give an affidavit. The first time we got there; we sat around about 2 hours, nothing happened... so we walked home. The second time round, they actually took our statements. Up till now (Wednesday), the police have given us no answers.

‘They are investigating’ is all we hear, but our people are dead! That is why we protest. That is why we burn. We know it’s the only way they will pay attention. Investigate that!” 

A community member said in an interview that the municipality has promised to pay for the funerals and the transport  associated with it.

The R24, a road of destruction and fear.
The R24, a road of destruction and fear.

At this stage, it seems that the tavern was raided for a suspected firearm, but this could to date of print not be confirmed by the police. The response from the police regarding the incident thus far is; “The matter is being handled by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID),” Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said.

A large crowd of protesters took to the R24 the following day, Sunday, 12 Marchand again on Tuesday 14 March. The Kroondal and Dinie Estates Roads were also barricaded and closed off. Numerous unsuspecting passing commuters’ vehicles were stoned. 

The in-construction R24 is a road of destruction. 

One of the many Samaritans, residents of the R24, assisting to warn oncoming traffic to divert.
One of the many Samaritans, residents of the R24, assisting to warn oncoming traffic to divert. 

One of the residents on the R24, in an interview with the Platinum Weekly said, “We now understand why the protesters took to the streets. But why could the police not communicate this through? We waited almost five hours at the Olifantsnek Dam for a Police official to come out. We were scared. Our lives are not safe, and we are used to expecting the worst. If we had known what the protest was about, and see police presence, it would have made things much more tolerable.

It’s not about the challenge to take the longer road, it’s not about the badly economical consequence. It’s about fear. It’s about anyone can do anything they want, and the police don’t react publically, leaving us in the dark. I was one of many residents who actually helped close of the R24 on Sunday.

Otherwise, motorists coming from Johannesburg would unknowingly have driven into a war zone, without warning. We did this for hours before the cops showed up. This is not on! We do, however, want to thank everyone who helped in this situation, the Community Policing Forum (CPF) and residents.” 

Protest action on Sunday, 12 March, R24.
Protest action on Sunday, 12 March, R24. 

On the one hand, we have community members who are extremely disgruntled about the death of their friends and family. On the other hand, we have community members afraid of violent protests.

Funeral arangements:

Saturday, 18th March 2017 at Uitkyk village; and Sunday, 19th March 2017 at Motlhabe village.

For further enquiries kindly contact Mr Andrew Seome on 014 590 3525/ 3111 or 082 717 4374.

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