Politicians slam death of Mthokozisi Ntumba: 'Loss of innocent lives mustn't become our new normal'

Mthokozisi Ntumba was killed when shots were fired during a student protest in Braamfontein.
Mthokozisi Ntumba was killed when shots were fired during a student protest in Braamfontein.
Image: Mthokozisi Ntumba/Facebook

Politicians have slammed the outcomes of the Wits fees protest after an innocent bystander, Mthokozisi Ntumba, was shot dead on Wednesday. 

The 35-year-old was struck in the crossfire while leaving a clinic in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, after the police fired rubber bullets during the student protest.

Ntumba worked as a human settlements planner at the City of Tshwane and had just completed his master’s degree.

His death is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and the cause is set to be revealed later in the week.

Speaking in the National Traditional House of Leadership on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed police's “overreach” in the protest. 

“Mthokozisi Ntumba was an innocent bystander and indeed even the students, much as they were protesting, the way I saw it on television did not warrant the type of resistance and push from the police,” said Ramaphosa.

“This disturbed me deeply because it demonstrated that while our people demonstrated peacefully, there was overreach from the police.

“While this matter is being investigated by the relevant bodies, those who acted beyond what they were meant to should be dealt with in accordance with our law,” he added.

Police minister Bheki Cele said the incident was unexplainable. “It’s something that has no grain of explanation and defence. Somebody just went crazy,” he said.

On social media, politicians weighed in on the incident, with some slamming Ramaphosa and the SA Police Service (SAPS). Here are some of their reactions:

DA leader John Steenhuisen

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula

One SA movement leader Mmusi Maimane

Carl Niehaus

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi

Former deputy leader of the Independent Democrats, Simon Grindrod

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