Pregnant woman shot during Mpuma protest
Malalane - A pregnant woman had to be hospitalised after being hit with a rubber bullet during a service delivery protest in Mpumalanga.
This came after the community of Mzinti village, south of Malalane, went on the rampage barricading the D797 connecting Malalane and Nkomazi villages on Monday demanding water and electricity.
When the unknown woman was shot none of the police officers helped her. With the assistance of community members, one motorist drove her to hospital.
“They better kill us; we are going back to that road and until they give us water, they are going to see our true colours,” shouted a community member.
“We just watch their tactics. They shot at a defenceless pregnant woman and did not even bother to help her,” shouted another community member.
The community protested along the road in the morning but were dispersed by heavily armed police officers, where the pregnant woman was injured. In the afternoon they were back protecting.
Community representative Nothando Lubisi said the community had had enough.
“We want water and electricity, some portions of this area have been here since we were born, but there’s no tap water we rely on fetching water from the steams or buy from the very same municipality that is supposed to provide us with water,” said Lubisi.
Lubisi also said municipal member of mayoral committee Million Shongwe lied to them that during their protest in July he said the municipal would come up with a preliminary solution.
“Shongwe promised to come within a week to meet us with the mayor [Thulisile Khoza] but he didn’t show up at that meeting. He also promised that he will ask the municipality to give us water for free but he lied too, we cannot take this anymore; its either they kill us with their police guns or give us our water,” said Lubisi.
The community called for Premier David Mabuza to come address them.
Mabuza’s spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said the premier was not planning to address the protestors as he was not aware of the protest.
“The premier is not going to come to address those people. I’m hearing this from media people on the scene like you. The premier is now attending an ANC meeting as it happens every Monday,” said Mncwango.
Nkomazi municipal spokesperson Cyril Ripinga told African Eye News Service that the municipality was not avoiding the community but were in a process of providing water.
“Nobody is running away from them; nobody is afraid to speak to them. What is happening is that the municipality is busy working on a plan to provide water in the area, there a multi-million rand projects for that community and they will be completed by the end of next month,” said Ripinga.
Attempts to speak to Shongwe were unfruitful as his phone was on voicemail.
Provincial police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala and his deputies Colonel Leonard Hlathi and Sargent Gerald Sedibe were unavailable on their phones when contact for comment.