Ricochet News

23-year-old man dies in Stanford Road protests after local gangs fired on police officers

May 11, 2017
23-year-old man dies in Stanford Road protests after local gangs fired on police officers

A 23-year-old man died on Thursday during the violent protests that took place along Stanford Road, Helenvale, in Port Elizabeth's Northern Areas.

According to police spokesperson, Capt Sandra Janse Van Rensburg, police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, who had blocked off the road with burning tyres and were pelting passing cars with stones.

While police officers where focussed on curbing the violence, members of local gangs took advantage of the situation and fired shots at the officers.

A local resident, Renaldo Henike (23), from Helenvale, was shot and taken to hospital with private transport.

He, however, later succumbed to his injuries.

Capt van Rensburg said that two more people were injured and it is alleged that a 27-year-old male was shot in his hand and a 24-year-old male was injured by a rubber bullet.

She said that a murder and two cases of attempted murder will be investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Cases of malicious damage to property have also been opened for investigation after a number of private vehicles and four police vehicles were damaged.

Police said that several officers sustained light injuries but were not hospitalised.

Four suspects, aged between 15 and 17 years, were arrested on charges of Public Violence.

The area is still closed for traffic and police are monitoring the situation.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Eastern Cape, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga called on the public to protest peacefully and to respect the police officers deployed to protect the rights of the general public.

She extended condolences to the family of the deceased.