Witnesses to hip-hop star Khuli Chana's shooting allege that police officers acted appropriately, reports EyeWitness News.
Khuli Chana, whose real name is Khulani Morule, was mistakenly shot and wounded by police on Monday at the Caltex garage along the N1 highway in Midrand.
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police from Bedfordview had mistaken Chana's luxury sedan to be that of a kidnapper who was being tracked.
Police tried to stop the vehicle, but it drove away at high speed and several shots were fired, he said.
Morule said officers opened fire unexpectedly and without warning, reported Eyewitness News on Monday.
But the police claim they fired two warning shots because they were tracking down a criminal driving in a similar car. The kidnap suspect’s attorney Eric Bryer was on the scene with two other witnesses.
"My two clients, who were close friends of the kidnap victim, were actually standing in the road next to the policemen. They witnessed the police’s attempt to get the driver to stop, but he defied their instructions. Then they fired into the air and after that, they actually shot at his tyres."
The Economic Freedom Fighters said on Monday that harsh action should be taken against police officers involved in the shooting.
"EFF calls on the South African Police Service to give a public apology and immediately take harsh action on the police involved," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.
"This incident is one of many where police, because of their aggressive posture to policing characterised by the 'shoot to kill' principle, have made mistakes putting the lives of innocent civilians in danger."
The Democratic Alliance said the "shoot to kill mentality" by the police was unacceptable.
"While it is understood that police have to endure challenging and dangerous situations daily, it is vital that they are equipped with proper training and must be taught alternative methods to apprehend suspects," said spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said it had launched an investigation into matter. Chana has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home. – Additional reporting by Sapa