Although police deny it, residents in the embattled Khayelitsha TR Section that has been ablaze with protests for eight weeks, say an 8pm curfew is being enforced, with police firing rubber bullets at will.Over 50 residents spoken to in TR Section said police in blue SAPS uniforms, but with their faces covered with balaclavas, patrolled the area at night and shot at anyone they saw outdoors after 8pm.
Resident Mncedisi Sam said he was drinking with friends last Sunday when police opened the door and told the group to go home.
“I went out and found some of the police waiting outside, they told us to run.”
He said he stumbled as ran. “Three of them came straight to me and shot me on my hand because I was covering my head, and another policeman shot me in my private parts.”
Thembelani Mcanda, 17, said he was shot five times on his legs on Monday (Nov 18) while he was on his way to the shop at about 8pm.
“I didn’t see them because they were hiding. They never asked any questions, they just shot me. I fell down but that cop waited for me to stand up and shot me again,” said Mcanda.
Hlathi Stoto, 53, said he was standing inside his yard when a police van pulled up. He said he was ordered to go inside his house.
“I refused, asking how can I sleep while the police van is next to my house? He didn’t answer, he just shot me and I fell.”
He said he vomited blood the next day.
“I can’t even open a case against them because they are not even wearing name tags so I can’t say who shot me, I just know he’s a police,” said Stoto.
Residents’ committee chairperson Luvuyo Hebe said many people had brought complaints to him.
“Some of the residents told me they opened cases in Lingelethu Police station against the police but nothing has happened,” said Hebe.
Lingelethu police station spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa said she was not aware of any cases being opened against the police.
Mawisa said the police only used rubber bullets to disperse crowds when residents were protesting.
She said police were patrolling Mew Way which runs next to TR Section, but if police were covering their faces while on duty they should be reported. – West Cape News reporters, West Cape News