Eight cops implicated in Tatane death get bail

2011-05-20 15:44

The eight police officers accused of shooting and assaulting protester Andries Tatane during a service delivery protest at Ficksburg were granted bail in the Free State High Court, the National Prosecuting Authority has confirmed.

The Independent Complaints Directorate has charged two of them with murder and six others faced a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The eight men filed an urgent appeal against a Ficksburg Regional Court decision, which denied them bail.

The application was heard yesterday and judgment was delivered today. The men were released on conditional bail of R1 000 each.

Spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said in reaction the NPA accepted the court’s ruling and that the accused would abide by the bail conditions that were set.

The conditions were that whatever outstanding investigations still had to be done could be conducted without interference from them.

“We wish to emphasise that this has no bearing on the strength of the state’s case.”

Mhaga urged the Ficksburg community to exercise patience and to allow the “wheels of justice” to turn. The NPA would work tirelessly to ensure that justice was served.

The Ficksburg Regional Court postponed the matter to June 2 for further investigation.

The accused are Nicodemus Israel Moiloa, Mothusi Magano, Mphonyana Ntaje, Olebogeng Mphirime, Solomon Moeketsi, Jonas Skosana, Kanathasen Munsamay and Isaac Finger.

A day after Tatane’s death on April 13, Ficksburg was tense as angry protesters set alight two municipal buildings.

Police allegedly fired rubber bullets into Tatane’s chest and beat him with batons during a service delivery protest in front of the offices of the Setsoto local municipality in the Meqheleng township.

Their actions were recorded and televised.

Tatane, a teacher, was seen holding his hand against his chest after the assault and collapsed about 20 minutes later.
He died before an ambulance arrived.

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