Alexandra residents have welcomed police investigations which have confirmed their suspicions that a police officer was behind the killing of Samantha Mathane.
Mathane was killed last month, but police officers claimed she was caught in the crossfire between them and suspected hijackers. She was shot metres away from her home after she had alighted from a taxi, from work.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Monday confirmed that a bullet that killed her came from a police officer’s firearm.
Teffo Raphadu, a community leader in Alexandra, said they were happy that the officer who they suspected of having fired the fatal shot was now linked to the murder.
“We are glad that the police have vindicated our long-held belief that it was the police who were firing shots recklessly. I’m expecting justice to be done so that we can be saved from the killing of innocent bystanders by police. Those implicated must have their day in court and heavy sentences must be meted out to them,” he said.
Ntokozo Mate, who witnessed the shooting, said they were waiting for the gate to open in a passage that leads to Mathane’s home when they suddenly heard shots being fired. “I’ve always said they [cops] just opened fire and one of them [bullets] hit her while we were all trying to find cover,” Mate said.
Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa told Sowetan: “We indeed received the report with regard to the identification of the firearm that it belonged to a police official. However, at this stage the name of the police official cannot be published. Our investigation is ongoing.”
The shooting enraged the community, who marched to the Alexandra police station yesterday hoisting placards that read #Justice4Samantha.
Mathane was killed just a month after she got married.
Mathane’s husband Albert Radebe previously told Sowetan that he was relieved their suspicions had been confirmed that a police officer was behind the shooting.
“We always knew that it was a police officer who shot her. Anyone who was there saw that he was responsible for her death,” Radebe said.
He said the family was informed about the ballistic report two weeks ago, but were told to keep it under wraps to maintain the investigation’s integrity.