- POSTED: 13 Jan 2014 23:18
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Killings occurred in Brits, near where police shot dead 34 in 2012.
JOHANNESBURG: South African police officers allegedly shot and killed two protesters during a demonstration Monday over poor delivery of state utility services in a town near the capital Pretoria.
The killings occurred in Brits, a town that lies between Pretoria and the Marikana town where police in August 2012 shot dead 34 striking platinum miners.
"Two people were shot dead, allegedly by police, and another two injured," said police spokesman for the area Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone. "We don't know exactly what happened."
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, the country's police watchdog which polices criminal conduct within the force, said they did not have any details surrounding the killings.
"Our investigators are still at the scene trying to establish what happened," said the monitoring agency's' spokesman Moses Dlamini.
Violent protests over substandard delivery of utilities such as electricity and water are common in South Africa, where state property is often set fire to in a venting of community anger.
Experts count hundreds of similar protests each year in Africa's wealthiest country, which is dogged by stubborn levels of inequality.
The latest protest come just months to crucial general elections expected to be a test of the leadership of President Jacob Zuma's government.
A survey published at the weekend as the governing African National Congress launched its election campaign showed a decline in the popularity of the party, partly over utility services.