PRETORIA, March 8 – Police on Friday warned the public to refrain from the “senseless and reckless circulation” of the video of the shooting and wounding of a man who had been breaking windows at Mmametlake Secondary School, in Mpumalanga.
In the video that went viral on Thursday, the man can be seen brazenly smashing windows. When a police van arrives he throws objects at it. The police eventually fire a shot wounding the man later identified as a disgruntled former student.
Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma said he was “perturbed” by the incident and “cautioned members of the community to refrain from senselessly and reckless circulation of the video for the sensitive material contained”.
“Information at police disposal revealed that the police were dispatched to the school at Mmametlhake, near Pretoria, after receiving a complaint that learners were fighting. On their arrival, however, they discovered that in actual fact, a certain man was busy damaging windows of the school with bricks, an incident which terrified the educators and learners,” said Lieutenant General Zuma.
“It was later brought to the attention of the police that the said man had come to the school demanding to see the principal when told that it would not be feasible for him to see the principal at the time. He then reportedly went on the rampage destroying the windows of the school, hence police were called.
“The same man can be seen on the video, directing his violent acts towards the police by throwing bricks at the marked police vehicle, upon their arrival. He, without doubt, had a clear intention to inflict deadly injuries to the female member who was a van crew. She had to dive trying to dodge the rain of bricks that the suspect hurled at them.
“The perpetrator somehow managed to open the door of the police van while it was still in motion. It was during that process that the member (female) fell out of the vehicle sustaining minor injuries.”
Zuma said at that stage, the police had no other option but to use force by shooting at the raging man, in protecting everyone in the vicinity, himself included.
“Only then was he subdued and arrested. IPID [Independent Police Investigative Directorate] has been informed about the incident and will conduct their own separate investigation,” said the police lieutenant general.
Late on Thursday, the Mpumalanga department of education condemned the incident in which an “intruder” was shot by police officers after he vandalised buildings at Mmametlake Secondary School, where he also threw bricks at a police van as it arrived on the scene.
“The department is concerned about an incident that took place at Mmametlake Secondary School in Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality where an intruder who is alleged to be a former learner wanted to see the school principal,” said Mpumalanga education spokesperson Jasper Zwane.
“It is alleged that when told that he could not see the principal, he became violent and started throwing bricks destroying windows of the school. Police were called in to assist, and at the arrival of the police the intruder attacked them until he was shot in the leg.”
The man was then apprehended and taken to the Mmametlake Hospital.
“The department will send a team to the school tomorrow, [Friday] to investigate the circumstances that may have caused this and to start a process to render counselling to the affected learners and teachers,” said Zwane.
– African News Agency (ANA)