The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has confirmed that it is investigating the shooting of 14-year-old Ona Dubula by police during a protest in Hout Bay.
IPID’s Moses Dlamini told GroundUp that after IPID became aware of footage of the incident it sent investigators to “find out what was happening”. The matter had not been reported to it by law enforcement.
“A case of attempted murder was registered. We will be looking into the possibility of opening another case for failure to report to IPID,” said Dlamini.
This comes after police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said in a statement yesterday that it was “alleged” that a 14-year-old boy was injured during the protest action and urged the boy’s parents “to come forward to open a criminal case to be investigated”.
Dubula was shot four times during a protest in Hangberg, Hout Bay, over the allocation of fishing quotas. Dubula had gone to Hangberg, 3km from his home in Imizamo Yethu, to see the protest.
During the chaos that erupted, Dubula and two women hid behind a wooden table. While they were hiding, a police officer shot rubber bullets at them, hitting Dubula. Two bullets entered his mouth and yesterday Dubula had surgery to remove one that had lodged under his tongue.
I find it strange that the policeman who allegedly fired rubber bullets at the teenager in Hout Bay could face a charge of attempted murder since rubber bullets (also called rubber baton rounds) are rubber or rubber-coated projectiles designed to be fired from either standard firearms or dedicated riot guns and intended to be a non-lethal alternative to metal projectiles. So how come the possibility of a charge of attempted murder for the use of what is by definition a non-lethal piece of equipment?
Secondly, bear in mind that the teenager in question appears to not be exactly a paragon of virtue, being out of school because, according to media reports, his mother cannot get him into one because he was expelled from his previous school for bad behaviour. And believe me, getting expelled these days means you have been found to have done something seriously bad. History possibly repeating itself?
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