So, if a cop didn’t shoot Bulelani Sizane, who did then?
A long year after his death on the sidelines of a Klerksdorp protest, the ballistics report held a surprise
A year after Bulelani Sizane was shot and killed during a protest in North West, a forensic report confirmed the bullet did not match the gun used by the policeman accused of causing his death.
The protests in Jouberton, near Klerksdorp, were linked to province-wide demonstrations to force then premier Supra Mahumapelo out of office.
Sizane was in the yard of a family he knew when he was shot.
He died aged 24 in Tshepong Hospital, which itself was short-staffed on the day as protesters blocked the doctor and nurses from entering.
It has been a year since the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) staff started interviewing witnesses and running their investigation.
Sizane’s family still doesn’t have the results.
His aunt Maria Mothunyane said a year was a long time to wait for the results.
“I phoned the police. He said to me they are processing the case. It is a long time. We don’t know what happened or what is going on. He said he will answer when Pretoria [ballistics lab] gets back to them.
“I am still angry. We want an answer. That policeman is still going to work now. We don’t know what happened. We want to hear from them. Ipid do not phone us.”
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “The bullet found in the deceased’s body could not be matched to the firearm of the police officer who shot at the deceased, nor the firearms of the other police officers. The docket has been sent to the director of public prosecutions for guidance on the matter.”
Dlamini said police-issued ammunition was recorded in a system called IBIS. “No match was found in that system either.”
On the day Sizane was shot, protesters had been looting the nearby mall. The place where he was shot was about two blocks away.
Demonstrators were running from the police in that direction, but his family is adamant he wasn’t even protesting.
Palesa Klaas, his girlfriend, speaking on the anniversary of his death, said “she isn’t herself”.
“This week I have not been myself, because it’s like it is happening all over again.”
Protests about lack of jobs have flared up in Jouberton this week again, she said. “It took me back and reminded of me of what happened to Bulelani.
“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Asked what she missed about him, Klaas paused and said: “Where will I begin? What I miss about him mostly is his personality. I will say that.
“He was a straightforward guy. He was full of jokes, loving and caring and passionate about education. He was a musician too. He did rap music. A lot of people loved his rap.”
She plans to visit his mother in the Free State later this week.