Soldiers opened fire on police officers and a vehicle tracking vehicle who were in hot pursuit of suspected criminals last night.
While a board of inquiry will be held to investigate the circumstances‚ the South African National Defence Force defended its troops.
The shooting took place near the northern KwaZulu-Natal border‚ close to Mozambique‚ at about 21:30 on Monday night (20 July).
“The SANDF members heard sound of a truck‚ followed by a bakkie‚ speeding towards the border and subsequently crossing the borderline to Mozambique. The SANDF members then opened fire to the bakkie and the occupants of the bakkie ran away abandoning the bakkie in Mozambique‚” the military said in a statement.
“A few minutes later‚ SANDF members noticed two vehicles in a high speed approaching their position from the northern part of KZN. In an attempt to stop the vehicle‚ SANDF members used a torch signalling the vehicles to stop‚ but the vehicle did not stop‚ forcing the SANDF members to open fire to the front vehicle — causing the vehicle to stop due to deflated tyre.
The vehicles were later identified to be belonging to Netstar and SAPS.
The SANDF said: “No signal or form of identity on the vehicles was visible to the SANDF members at the time of shooting”.
Both vehicles were stopped and the occupants were apprehended by the Military Police. They were taken to Manguzi SAPS station‚ “where they were positively identified as members of the Netstar tracking company and SAPS” who were chasing the truck and a bakkie.
No one was injured in the shooting.
“Both SAPS and Netstar members did not follow due protocol of informing the SANDF commander that they were chasing a suspected vehicle‚” the military said.