Veteran actor Patrick Shai was allegedly shot by the police in Dobsonville, Soweto this Monday. The activist tried to intervene in the electricity protests when he was shot.
After being hit by 11 rubber bullets, the actor was rushed to Tshepo Themba Hospital. Talking to Times Live, he said he was coming from a television interview when he noticed the protests and went to the people.
“I moved to the protesters and asked them not to burn tyres on the road. One of the protestors then tried to throw a burning tyre on the road. One cop tried to take the tyre and I said to the guy ‘don’t do it’. But one of the cops simply said asibaboniseni [let us show them],” he said.
Shai claims to have asked the police officer to mind his language and speak respectfully to the protesters. “I told the cop ‘you cannot say that’. I told him ‘that is not the language you should be talking. We should be finding ways to minimise the potential for violence’,” he said.
According to the Moferefere Lenyalong star, the police then ran back to their cars and came back with guns drawn. He said it was at this point that he realised he might be in danger.
“I only realised that there was trouble when they pulled out the guns from the cars. I raised my hands and begged them not to shoot but they kept advancing. Instead of engaging me, they fired. I turned around and started running and I got hit several times,” he explained.
Shai sustained injuries on his back, neck leg and arms. He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from home.