Community members held two detectives hostage at the Dali Mpofu squatter camp in Tembisa while a murder suspect was stoned to death.
The community then stoned police reinforcements sent to rescue their colleagues who ran away and responded by firing live ammunition.
The problem started when a woman was murdered at the camp.
She had last been seen with her boyfriend the previous night on August 29.
After she was found dead and the community found and detained the boyfriend.
Two police detectives who attempted to take statements from the family of the murdered woman were taken hostage.
They were forced to watch as the alleged suspect was stoned to death.
The community did not want the detectives simply arresting the suspect. They feared if he was taken to the station he would be released.
A group of back up cops arrived to rescue the detectives but the confrontation turned hostile.
A local resident, Banele Xulu, said police had to run for cover as the community pelted them with stones.
“The problem started when the police detectives wanted to stop the community from beating up the man who died on the scene from the beatings,” said Zulu. “Cops wanted to take the alleged suspect to the police station and let the criminal justice process follow.
“But the community wanted nothing to do with that. They feared he would be released.
“Community members got angry and a large number of them gathered around the two officers.
“The officers couldn’t leave and they had to call for back up from Ivory Park, Tembisa Rabasotho, Tembisa South and Rabie Ridge police stations to come to their rescue,” he said.
He said when backup arrived, they fired live ammunition at the community while the community members answered by throwing stones at them.
In a video taken by one of the community members, officers are seen running away from the members of the community while gunshots can be heard.
Tembisa Rabasotho police spokesperson Captain Ralidzhivha Manyadza confirmed that the incident happened in Tembisa.
Ralidzhivha said detectives were at the squatter camp to take the statement from the woman who was brutally murdered on the weekend of August 29.
The camp is named after Dali Mpofu, a senior leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters.