JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – A teenager was shot dead during a violent protest in a region of South Africa which has been rocked by days of rioting against the ruling ANC, local officials said Thursday.
Media reports said the victim was part of group looting shops in the central town of Christiana on Wednesday and was shot by the owner of a tavern, who also wounded two other people.
“It was a protest action, there was a crowd or a mob, and somebody took out their firearm and shot at the young man and he died on the scene,” North West police spokesperson Thulani Ngubane said.
“Whether they were looting or they were blocking the roads, or what… but there was chaos in the area.”
The neighbouring town of Bloemhof has for days been the scene of violent protests during which the mayor’s residence, public buildings and shops were set on fire.
The demonstrations, which started on April 2 to protest against the poor quality of public service and demand the resignation of local officials, spread to Christiana on Tuesday.
South African police has struggled to prevent or contain an ever growing number of similar protests across the country demanding better access to housing, water and electricity.