A 28-year-old woman has lost her eye after allegedly being shot by police while fetching water.
The horrific incident happened in Ramaphosa informal settlement, Philippi, last Thursday.
Siyasanga Gijana says she was fetching water from a tap outside her hokkie when a police car passed her fenced yard and a cop fired rubber bullets at her.
“While I was lifting the bucket, I heard a gunshot and there was something hot coming from my eye; it was blood,” the traumatised woman said on Tuesday.
She says she dropped the heavy 20-litre bucket and called for help while the cops drove off.
HORRIFIC: Siyasanga’s missing eye
“A neighbour came with a car and rushed me to the day hospital,” says Siyasanga.
“The doctor said I must be transferred to Groote Schuur [Hospital] as he was worried that my brain could be damaged.”
When the X-ray scan was done at Groote Schuur, Siyasanga said she was told nothing happened to her brain, but her right eye would have to be removed.
“When the doctors told me that they will be removing my eye, I was hurt,” she says.
“How will I live with only one eye? It is difficult accepting this.”
Siyasanga said she doesn’t know why cops shot at her.
She says there was a protest in the area about water cuts, but that was on the other side of the settlement and far from her house.
“There was no protest action close to us and everyone was indoors,” she says.
“The police just shot out of nowhere. Police like abusing their power.”
She was discharged from the hospital on Monday.
‘MY LIFE IS RUINED’: Siyasanga Gijana, 28, of Philippi was allegedly shot in her eye by cops
Siyasanga says her work contract at an ice-cream shop ended just before the lockdown started last month and she has been looking for a new job, but fears no one will employ her now.
“My life is finished,” she cries. “How will I find employment looking like this?”
She has laid a charge at Nyanga SAPS and is now calling on police and the government to take care of her.
“I do not think I will be able to get out and face people any time soon. They (the government) must provide for me and I will sue the state.
“This case must be investigated. I did nothing yet I was shot and lost my eye.”
HARD TO DEAL WITH: Siyasanga’s eye was removed at Groote Schuur Hospital
She says she has lost both her parents and has been depending on relatives while looking for work.
“I like working for myself and doing things for myself, but now my life is ruined,” she says.
“My family assists me but I was going to look for work when the lockdown ends. I do not know what I will do anymore.”
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) acting national spokesperson, Sontaga Seisa said it was investigating the matter.
"IPID confirms that we received the incident and we are investigating the matter. At this point in time we haven't made any arrest as our investigation is ongoing."