Mothutlung man 'fell out' of police nyala

According to police, the third protester to have died this week ‘fell out’ of a moving police nyala.

According to police, the third protester to have died this week ‘fell out’ of a moving police nyala. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have confirmed an inquest docket has been opened into the death of a third protestor from Mothutlung, who allegedly ' fell out' of a moving police nylala.

This brings to three the number of people killed this week, allegedly at the hands of police, during running battles with community members who are demanding that their water be restored.

Police also claim the protester, 27-year-old Theodore Seema, was not the first to leap from the armoured vehicle after being arrested.

They have denied they pushed Seema out of the nyala, saying he jumped out of the vehicle after he was arrested for public disturbance.

Seema's family confirmed his death to Eyewitness News earlier today and have disputed the police's version of events.

North West police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone says the investigation will be referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

"It's alleged the first suspect managed to escape from the moving nyala and did not sustain any injuries. A few minutes later a second suspect also jumped out of the moving nyala. But unfortunately he fell and sustained injuries on the head."

Meanwhile, Seema's family says its heartbreaking he died while fighting for basic services.

His sister, Tshegofatso, says he was wrongfully accused of public disturbance.

"He's a politician so I don't see why he was being kept. He is not someone who is violent. I am definitely sure that my brother didn't throw stones at the police. Although it was an illegal strike, it was peaceful. We didn't throw stones or do anything. The police just came, fired shots and arrested people for no reason."

Seema and a friend were arrested on Tuesday morning while police were conducting operations in the area following the two day protest over water shortages.

It's believed Seema and his friend were standing near rubble and rocks, which had been used to barricade the road, when police arrested them for public disturbance.

Seema's family says he suffered severe brain trauma after falling on his head and died as a result of his injuries.