Cops fired over tussle with photographer

2012-01-09 14:34

Two police officers who tried to arrest a Pretoria News photographer when he took pictures of them arresting a suspected thief have been dismissed, police have said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed today that the two Pretoria Central police officers – Constable Tshepo Marerathi and Student Constable Thapelo Moganedi – were dismissed following an internal disciplinary hearing.

The dismissals relate to an incident in February when Pretoria News chief photographer Masi Losi rushed out of the building to take pictures of a mob which had caught a suspected thief.

Police arrived and arrested the suspect but then, according to a Pretoria News staffer who spoke to Sapa at the time, the two officers turned on Losi and tried to take his camera.

The Pretoria News reported today that a disciplinary inquiry had found the two guilty of assault and robbery.

The newspaper quoted provincial trial unit disciplinary officer Captain Israel Mulovhedzi as saying the policemen had indicated that they would appeal their dismissal.

They have 10 days to appeal the decision, which was made known to them on Friday. They still face criminal charges and will appear in court on February 15.
The Independent Complaints Directorate was tasked with investigating the case against them.

A directorate spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

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