Call to probe death of ANC councillor in Marikana

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate's spokesperson, Moses Dlamini, says the directorate is waiting for the outcome of a postmortem on slain ANC councillor Pauline Masutlhe. (Gallo)

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate's spokesperson, Moses Dlamini, says the directorate is waiting for the outcome of a postmortem on slain ANC councillor Pauline Masutlhe. (Gallo)

Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini told the Mail & Guardian on Thursday: "The IPID is aware of this incident. The IPID will await the outcome of the postmortem to determine whether the death is related to the shooting."

Pauline Masutlhe was shot in the leg by police during an operation on Saturday, September 15 in Nkaneng informal settlement in Marikana, the inter-ministerial committee said. She died at Job Shimankane Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg on Wednesday.

The committee on Wednesday expressed shock at Masutlhe's death.
"We are deeply saddened to lose a dedicated person of Councillor Masutlhe's calibre. She was very instrumental in providing support to the IMC while it was discharging its responsibilities in Marikana. Our hearts are with the Masutlhe family at this time," said Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, who heads the committee.

Masutlhe formed part of the team that worked tirelessly together with the IMC to resolve the Marikana matter and provided support to the families of the deceased, the IMC said.

She was a proportional representation councillor in Madibeng Local Municipality and also served at Bonjanala District Municipality, representing the ANC.

Lesiba Kgwele, spokesperson for the North West provincial government, said Premier Thandi Modise had appealed for calm and urged the relevant authorities to investigate the matter, if it was found that Masutlhe did not die of natural causes.

"The premier conveys her condolences to the family and said the provincial government would do anything possible to show them support," Kgwele said.

'Murder'
The Marikana Solidarity Campaign on Thursday called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to investigate Masutlhe's death.

"We call on the minister of police to immediately initiate an urgent investigation into Pauline Masutlhe's death, and for the immediate identification and suspension of the police officers involved in her murder," spokesperson Mark Heywood said.

"Given what is known of the time and place of this attack, this should not be difficult. Witnesses are available and willing to provide evidence if their safety can be guaranteed."

Heywood said Masutlhe was shopping in Nkaneng informal settlement near Wonderkop at 9am, while police were conducting a raid to disarm striking mine workers.

"As far as we can ascertain from other people present at the time, Pauline sustained rubber bullet wounds to her right knee and abdomen. Several other women were also injured."

The organisation said it would organise a women's demonstration against police brutality on Saturday in Marikana.

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