Ever since I first heard about the Swartruggens shooting this morning, I've been keeping a careful eye on developing events.
This morning's news came on with headlines of a number of people being shot at an informal settlement. Shocking enough on its own, even if the media seems mostly numb to the sheer volume of murders that happen in South Africa every day.
But then it became clear why this was big news. Someone saying it was a racially motivated shooting. I was somewhat amazed at the certainty with which this person knew the motive of these as yet unknown assailants. Possibly clairvoyant or somewhat prejudiced herself at a guess. Anyway - with such raw racism on show, things were bound to happen.
This little sequence of extracts follows news as released on IOL:
In what the community is calling a racially motivated attack, three people were killed and seven others injured when a young white male opened fire in Skielik, an informal settlement near Swartruggens in North West.
Members of the community claimed the men were trying to cut railway tracks close to the settlement in an attempt to derail a train so that it would destroy shacks. The men opened fire when they were discovered, they said.
from IOL here11.15am
Hundreds of protesters blockaded the main road leading into Swartruggens on Tuesday after three people were murdered in an apparent racist attack in the Skielik informal settlement, North West police said.
"Between 600 and 700 people have blocked the road. We have had no incidents of violence yet... they are protesting their dissatisfaction," said Superintendent Louis Jacobs.
Two young white men entered the settlement between 3pm and 4pm, police said on Monday.
The SABC reported on Monday that it was "an apparent race-related attack".
Jacobs said on Tuesday: "We can't make speculations as to the motive. No arrests have been made. We are in the process of obtaining statements from everybody."
from IOL here2.52pm
The father of the man who allegedly shot and killed four people at the Skielik informal settlement on Tuesday has been arrested, North West police said on Tuesday.
A helicopter manhunt has been launched for his son.
"The boy, between 18 and 20 years old, allegedly used the father's gun in the shooting" said Superintendent Louis Jacobs.
from IOL hereTwo of the responses so far:5.10pm
A seventeen-year-old has been arrested for the death of four people in the Skielik informal settlement near Swartruggens, North West police said on Tuesday.
"He was arrested just before 4pm and the firearm has been confiscated. He has not turned 18 yet, he turns 18 in August. He will probably be in court tomorrow or the day after tomorrow," said police spokesman Superintendent Louis Jacobs.
from IOL here
So I take it Mayor Willemiena Moleko was the clairvoyant I saw on TV this morning.The Congress of SA Trade Unions has condemned the killings as "racist murders".
"Cosatu fully supports the demonstration of protest by the local community and shares their anger. Justice must be done" said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven on Tuesday.
Craven said the suspect was believed to be the son of a local farmer who had been involved in racist attacks before.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in the North West has condemned Kgetleng River mayor, Willemiena Moleko, saying she was inciting racism and mass hysteria.
"After the shooting incident, she went there and made a racist speech, taking pictures of the bodies with her cellphone. The people have been incited by politicians led by the mayor. The farmers there are feeling really threatened by the whole situation which is being polarised" said DA councillor Ben Marais.
"The mayor is for everybody, not for one race, and should put a lid on these things. At the moment she is helping it escalate" said Marais.
from IOL here
It's just horrid what you have to do nowadays to make front page news