The Police in Mpumalanga have come forward after claims surfaced on Social Media reporting that the SAPS unlawfully shot an 18-year-old boy from Barberton.
Barberton residents have been taking part in ‘ongoing violent’ protests and the Police have been attending to keep peace and order.
“Police are saying that those spreading false news regarding the death of the boy, want to sow anger in the community and the country with a view to lessen trust between the police as well as the community. “
The victim was with a group of friends, one of which had a firearm and it is that firearm that allegedly went off and shot the victim in the upper body. As soon as the Police were notified of the incident they sprung into action and attended the scene.
The Medical response team immediately attended to the boy however he was pronounced dead on the scene.
A case of murder has been opened and the investigations have begun, the friend has now been arrested and will attend Barberton Magistrates court today facing a murder charge.
It has been reported that the weapon discharged is one that had previously been stolen from a Police officer during a hijacking incident in January 2020.
“The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has said that people with malicious intent to dent the image of the police are dangerous to the community because they are liars who often do not want to see police working smoothly with the community. General Zuma cautioned such people to desist from communicating on matters of such nature as the information is misleading and malicious. “Rumours making the rounds that the boy was shot by police are false, unfounded and strongly discredit the police maliciously. We have arrested the alleged suspect but the false message continues to misinform the public. We urge those individuals to withdraw their wrong messages and stop unnecessarily damaging the image of the police. Let me also remind the community that firearms are deadly weapons and I therefore strongly urge you to report those possessing them illegally, to prevent unnecessary loss of lives. The proliferation of firearms is of great concern and police are currently conducting the 2019/2020 Firearm Amnesty which commenced on, 01 December 2019 until 31 May 2020, with a clear message appealing to those who are possessing firearms illegally to voluntarily surrender them to their nearest police stations”, said General Zuma.