A MOTHER is demanding R20 million from Police Minister Bheki Cele for the death of her daughter, who is alleged to have been shot by the police during public unrest.
The mother, Nomsa Ngema of Mpumalanga, is accusing the police of shooting her teenage daughter Thabi Msibi during a service delivery protest in KwaNgema, Mpumalanga, in January.
On January 16, the local community embarked on a service delivery protest due to a lack of water and other human rights needs and necessities within the community.
However, it ended in tragedy when Msibi, in Grade 11, was shot dead while visiting a friend.
She had being let out of school early due to the public unrest.
Now Ngema, through her lawyer Makhakheni Mashele, is demanding that Cele fork out R20m in damages. In a letter addressed to Cele and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Mashele states that Msibi had returned home from Snethemba Secondary School and was visiting an elderly lady in the village when a stray bullet hit her.
In the letter, Ngema further accuses the police of negligence, saying that after the shooting they refused to call an ambulance.
The letter, seen by Pretoria News, reads in part: “The girl was hit by a stray bullet and the community immediately rushed her to the police station at approximately 4pm, wherein they requested assistance.
“The police refused to call an ambulance or provide any assistance to the wounded (Msibi).
“The police continued to refuse, neglected and or failed to provide any assistancem and she lay outside the police station without help until 2am when she succumbed to death due to the pain and bleeding of the wound.”
It further stated that the bullet that took Msibi’s life was now subject to ballistic investigations, and upon finalisation a determination would be made as to the SAPS gun and its handler, who allegedly took the fatal shot.
Ipid has opened case number 27/01/2023.
Ngema further indicated that the death of her daughter caused “shock, grief and trauma” within the family and the community of KwaNgema.
“In the circumstances, we are instructed to demand as we hereby do, that you pay an amount of R20m, which amount is in respect of pain, emotional shock, grief, sorrow and trauma,” read the letter.
The lawyers demanded that Cele pay the amount within 60 days of receipt, or face legal action.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, Mashele said they would be seeking legal action after 60 days if Cele had not paid the money.
“In terms of the law, before you issue the summons you need to give them notice. But we know 100% that it’s a bullet from the police that killed her. Because of this, the minister needs to be accountable for the action of his employees, because they should not get away with such things.”
Responding to questions from Pretoria News, Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed that the ministry had received the letter.
“The letter of demand will be responded to,” she said.
Ipid spokesperson Robbie Raburabu said: “This matter is being investigated by our Mpumalanga office. There are a few statements from members of the public that are outstanding.
“They have been difficult to get hold of even after they promised to be available.
“There are also two technical reports in the form of ballistic and post-mortem that are still outstanding.”