The national defence force confirms a civilian was shot and apparently died at the hands of a soldier in the volatile Bushbuckridge area of Mpumalanga.
The incident happened at Dingledale Trust in Chochocho village near Acornhoek at the weekend.
A SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Joint Operations Division statement has it soldiers were “accompanying” police tasked to “disperse community members allegedly meting out mob justice to a suspect”. The statement was issued after “a number of media reports” about the shooting incident in the Ehlanzeni district of Bushbuckridge.
According to one published report a soldier, part of “a group of law enforcement officials attending to a situation involving a violent mob”, shot and killed a man apparently wielding a firearm.
Attempts to disperse community members and calm the situation were not successful and police and soldiers found themselves on the receiving end of the crowd’s wrath. A screwdriver was used as a weapon with one soldier stabbed. The statement does not indicate the condition of the stabbed soldier, his unit and whether he was hospitalised for treatment.
“Another person from the community, who alighted from a car carrying a firearm was subsequently shot during the incident,” the statement said.
Police are investigating the Acornhoek shooting and mob violence incident. There is no indication as to whether the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has appointed a board of inquiry (BOI) for a military investigation.
A SANDF BOI into the death of Alexandra resident Collins Khosa on Good Friday has completed its work while police and Military Ombud investigations continue. Indications are the “non-adversarial admin inquiry” underway by retired general Vusi Masondo’s office should be completed by the end of July. This is in line with a Department of Defence (DoD) statement of an eight week timeframe for the Ombud investigation.