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Mbizana police shooting victims released on warning

Two people died while 10 others were injured during a shootout between community members & police.

FILE: Mbizana in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Mbizana Local Municipality.

CAPE TOWN - Eight people have appeared in the Mbizana Magistrates Court in the Eastern Cape on charges of theft, assault, intimidation and malicious damage to property following a shootout involving angry community members and police.

Officers opened fire with shotguns and live ammunition in the Eastern Cape village last week after a truck carrying rice and sugar was looted by residents.

Two people died while 10 others were injured following the shooting.

Authorities claim residents pelted the police and the owner of the trucking company with rocks when the shots were fired.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Khaya Ntonjeni says the eight people arrested were residents who had been discharged from hospital after being shot by police. They have now been released on a warning.

"The case has been postponed until 26 January and the accused are out on a warning."

Last week, Eastern Cape police defended the officers' actions.

Authorities say a stand-off ensued when police were called as community members were determined to steal all the goods on the truck.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate has launched a probe into the actions of officers at the scene and the use of live ammunition.