Real bullet, not rubber one, killed protest victim
Ipid is investigating whether Bulelani Sizane, who was shot with live ammunition, was in fact killed by police
The 24-year-old man shot in North West protests two weeks ago was killed by live ammunition, not a rubber bullet, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed.
Bulelani Sizane was in the yard of a home in Jouberton, a township outside of Klerksdorp, when he was shot. At the time, residents who had looted a nearby shopping mall were fleeing from police.A 13-year-old child, whose name is known to Times Select, watched him fall to the ground and said a policeman had shot him twice. Ipid is still investigating the claims that Sizane was killed by a police officer.
Sizane’s family claim he was not one of the looters. His cousin Palesa Mbanxa said post mortem results this week showed the bullet that hit him in the neck and killed him was not a rubber bullet, but live ammunition.Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed this saying it was a “9mm projectile”. A 9mm bullet is the calibre used in police service pistols.
But Dlamini said any definitive link to a policeman would only be proven when the ballistics report was completed. “Any link to police officers will be made through ballistics. The post mortem has only confirmed the cause of death.”
The report is expected in about four weeks time. “At the end of the investigation we will make recommendations for disciplinary action to the SA Police Service. However, nothing prevents police management from taking disciplinary action against their members.”
Mbanxa said: “We were very shocked as the family. [If it was a policeman who shot him] why did he use a real bullet? It was a protest. Why was he not using rubber bullets. We as a family want to know ... ”Sizane was to start a new job the week after he died, after months of unemployment. His funeral was held on Saturday.
Neighbours interviewed by Times Select at the time of the shooting were mystified by his death, saying he had not been carrying any goods from looting and had no weapon and nothing in his hand, “not even a cellphone”.
His girlfriend of five years, Palesa Klaas, said: “He was kind; he was full of jokes. He was active in all he was doing. One thing I liked about him was that he was so stubborn. He would stand for what he was fighting for.”