“Bystander killed in Wits protest pleaded with police not to shoot”

Everson Luhanga

Doctor Tebogo Sedibe from MyClinic had just treated a 35-year-old man at the clinic.

Just after the patient left, the doctor said he heard a loud gunshot. 

The man who’d just been in his clinic had been shot by the police.

On the streets of Braamfontein a protest by about 100 Wits students was underway. The protest became chaotic as students were shot with rubber bullets and arrested by the police.

Eyewitnesses claim the shot man was an innocent bystander.

And he was the only fatality.

Dr Sedibe said he tried to resuscitate the man for several minutes but his efforts were unsuccessful. 

An eyewitness who asked not to be named told Scrolla.Africa in isiZulu there were three bullets and that “they shot him twice in a close range”.

The eyewitness claimed the third rubber bullet was shot while the man was allegedly pleading with police not to shoot at him. 

“I suppose he was telling the police that he was not one of the protestors.

“If the police had heard him, he would still be alive,” said the eyewitness.

EWN spoke to another witness, Wits University student Peterson Radasi, who said the man was not wearing the colours of the student protestors. “We were all in this colour so you could easily identify protesters.”

Radasi told EWN: “When he was asking ‘why am I being shot?’ He was shot a second time, so it was not one shot, it was two shots. First, he fell down, then he woke up, had the energy to wake up and they shot him a second time.”

Dr Sedibe said the deceased had “a hole in his chest, another wound just on top of his right eye and the third one on his lower body. 

“When I found him, he was gasping, showing the end of his life.”

He said he couldn’t reveal why the man visited the clinic. 

“He was in good health. Yes, he was a healthy man and I cannot reveal his [reason]  for visiting our clinic.” 

The clinic’s attorney Zaakir Mayet confirmed a team of doctors at the clinic tried to resuscitate the patient without success. 

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Ndileka Cola said in a statement that the department assigned four investigators to gather information in regard to the death of the man.

The students were protesting that the university allow all students with historical debt to register.