The family of a Mitchell’s Plain resident injured in a community protest will take action against the SAPS after public order police allegedly used live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday night. Thousands of Mitchell’s Plain residents had gathered on the corner of Jakes Gerwel and Highlands Drive close to Rondevlei on Wednesday night to show their anger, after residents from the Siqalo informal settlement embarked on a violent service delivery the day before.
35 year old Tazleem Adams had decided to participate in the protests, following the public call by Rondevlei residents to take to the streets. His cousin Raafika Ganger says he was an innocent bystander who was caught in the chaos of the crowd when police opened fire, allegedly to push back crowds wanting to retreat into Siqalo.
“While we standing in the crowds, someone shouted ‘forward’ and SAPS opened fire. Tazleem was hit with a bullet through his left leg through the bone,” she recalled.
According to other sources, the chairperson of Portlands Block B‚ Salie Barnes‚ was also shot in the knee, after having formed a line with other members of his watch group between SAPS and the protesters.
Ganger said Adams’ wife approached Lentegeur police station to lay a charge against the police and was informed that he should be detained if he was involved the protests.
“We are not going to take this lying down. We are taking the matter forward and we want the SAPS official to be arrested. Innocent people cannot be shot,” she said.
The family were faced with further upheaval when Tazleem was rushed to Groote Schuur hospital and doctors could not carry out an emergency operation. According to Ganger, doctors promised they would operate, but the family were given the run around. Ganger and a colleague approached the hospital on Saturday for answers and demanded that Tazleem be prioritised.
“When we left the hospital, four doctors came to tell us they would operate. Tazleem had to plea and beg…he was in so much pain. He wasn’t a gangster…just a peaceful protestor.”
Adams has four minor children and is the only breadwinner. This means his family will take a major financial knock due to his injury.
Ganger said Adams was treated badly by the hospital staff, on the assumption that he was a gangster shot in gang related violence.
“He was at the protest peacefully. We all came out in our masses to support the people…Mitchell’s Plain is our home.”
“If Groote Schuur was short-staffed, they had to inform us. But everyone else was being attended to, but not Tazleem.”
She added that it was only after she lodged the complaint with hospital senior staff, that doctors changed their attitude.
A collection drive is now being coordinated by the Woodlands Welfare Association in conjunction with the Mitchells Plain Crisis Forum for Tazleem Adams and neighbourhood watch member Salie Barnes was also severely injured in the violence.
“We really need to thank the ummah for supporting the family and making dua. We really appreciate the outpouring of support.”
Contact Mymoena Pillay on 062 7055 156 for more information on the fundraising drive.
The department of health was unavailable for comment. MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato will comment on this story tomorrow in Breakfast Beat. VOC