Under police escort, the family of slain zama zama Ntando Nkomo went to the Basotho-dominated shaft to retrieve his body.
But what should have been a dignified and solemn event soon turned into a free-for-all and violent situation in which SAPS officers had to be rescued from enraged zama zamas.
The problem was that the hated and feared SAPS member known as Magolide was one of the police officers who arrived with the mourners.
According to zama zamas, Magolide is a brutal and tyrannical presence around the mines. They accuse him of robbing them of their cash and gold dust. He has also been accused of violently assaulting and torturing local zama zamas.
Joel Mabaso, who was coordinating the police and the mourners, told Scrolla.Africa that the officer was verbally abusive towards him.
“I approached the officer to ask him for an escort. He told me to get out of his face and I must not touch the cop van,” Mabaso said.
“He told me that the only way the family will get assistance was through him.”
After the body was retrieved the officer came to the scene and that’s when the zama zamas rioted and chased him away while the metro police and the EMS officials watched.
In the next round of events, Scrolla.Africa witnessed Magolide’s police vehicle being pelted with rocks after he tried to pepper spray mourners waiting for the mortuary van to pick up Ntando’s body.
Metro police officers who attended the scene were forced to rescue the SAPS members from the crowd.