The ongoing struggle over a Limpopo mine, reported on by amaBhungane today, has claimed its first victim - an 18-year-old pupil whom police have named as Boshelo Petja.
Yesterday, violent protests erupted near the Dithabeng mine, where a clash allegedly broke out between Ga-Mphahlele residents and mine security.
Dithabeng Mining, which is owned by tobacco baron Adriano Mazzotti and his associates, has been accused by some residents of operating unlawfully. They also claim it is in cahoots with the local chief, his mother and a faction of the traditional leadership.
A clash over the mine has intersected with an historical leadership dispute around the chieftaincy, resulting in violent protests.
According to a media statement issued by the provincial police commissioner's office on Thursday, initial investigations "revealed that the deceased was shot during a protest action near the [Dithabeng] mine".
"Allegedly, during the protest, conflict erupted between the security guards and residents until shots were fired and one person sustained serious injuries."
The police said they "responded to a call from the hospital about an 18-year-old boy who was admitted with gunshot wounds and later succumbed to his injuries".
They are investigating a case of murder. No arrests have been made.