Team of investigators sent to Ficksburg

2011-04-14 10:45

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) has sent a team of investigators to Ficksburg, in eastern Free State, where a man was beaten to death, allegedly by police, it said day.

“Some were sent yesterday and we sent more today ,” said ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini. They will investigate and take statements from witnesses and police... then an identity parade will be carried out,” he said.

Firearms would be sent for ballistics testing.

A report of the findings would be compiled and sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision on whether to prosecute, said Dlamini.

It was not clear if the police officers accused of the crime had been suspended.

Attempts to reach police spokesperson Captain Phumelelo Dlamini were unsuccessful.

Earlier, the ANC said it wanted Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to probe the matter.

Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu called on Mthethwa to institute an “immediate commission of inquiry” into the death of 33-year-old Andries Tatane.

The party also expressed concern about the airing of the of the “shocking and disturbing images” of his death on SABC television news. “We therefore, also call upon the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) to investigate whether the public broadcaster has not overstepped its mandate in this regard”.

Mthembu said no amount of wrongdoing by the protesters necessitated “such brutality and killing on the part of our law enforcement officers”.

Police allegedly fired rubber bullets into Tatane’s chest and then beat him with batons.

Tatane was allegedly attacked by at least six police officers “simultaneously“, according to media reports.

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

The police confirmed yesterday that a man has been killed during the protest.

The residents of Meqheleng township were marching to the Ficksburg municipal offices to hand over a memorandum relating to service delivery issues when the incident took place.

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