Pregnant woman hit by stray bullet

Vatiswa Mzam was shot on the leg.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating an incident in which a pregnant woman, 28, from Siyahlala informal settlement in Philippi was allegedly shot in the leg by police on Sunday October 18.

At the time, she had been in her backyard watching a clash between police and a crowd of people in the street around 9pm.

Vatiswa Mzam, who is two months pregnant, said her family took her to the Nyanga police station after the incident and then rushed her to the KTC day hospital.

While at the day hospital, she said, police came to check on her but refused to open a case on the spot. “They promised to open the case when I calmed down but to my surprise they came the following morning wanting the cartridges with no interest in opening a case.

“There was no talk of the case at all. They were busy threatening us to give them the cartridges but we refused. We had to fight hard to open the case. We want them to tell us why they were shooting,” she said.

Ms Mzam’s mother, Thandokazi Nofuna, said he had had to look for someone with a car to get her daughter to hospital after the shooting.

“Police are supposed to protect us. But when we went to Nyanga police station they asked questions like, can she identify the shooter and the cartridges? How can one identify somebody who was far from her? For goodness sake, she was in the yard not even on the scene. All we want is to see justice served in this case and others. We want forensic to tell us who shot her,” she said.

A neighbour, who did not want to be identified in the paper, said she had been watching the crowd arguing with police who had allegedly arrested a minor when she heard the gunfire. “People were following the van asking the police to release him but there was one police outside who started firing. Maybe he wanted to scare people but unfortunately it hit Vatiswa.

“There was a little brawl with them and it was late. But I do not know why they decided to shoot,” she said.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Ndileka Cola confirmed that the matter had been reported to them and that they had were investigating a case of discharge of an official firearm by a police officer in Nyanga.