A Hero's brutal end

By Drum Digital
19 April 2011

THE little boy is sandwiched between his mother and aunt – their arms protectively placed around his small shoulders. He barely bats an eyelid as he watches the steady stream of people – some of them crying – fill the home. Molefi Tatane (4) is too young to understand why the men and women are filtering into his home at Meqheleng township and hugging his mother, Makananelo (27), and aunt, Seipati Tatane (45).

"Are all these people Daddy's friends?" he finally asks. His distraught mother lifts her face, her eyes fixed on a spot on the ceiling, before answering her only son. "Yes, my baby. They are Daddy's friends. These are the people who loved your father."

It's two days after the boy's father, activist and community leader Andries Tatane (33), was beaten and shot, allegedly by six policemen outside the municipal offices in Ficksburg in the Free State. The assault shocked the nation when it was shown on prime-time TV news – what was meant to be a peaceful demonstration turned brutal and police were captured repeatedly hitting Andries with batons, kicking him and allegedly shooting him twice in the chest. Six policemen have appeared at the Ficksburg Magistrate's Court – two charged with murder and four face grievous bodily harm charges.

Read the article in the Drum of 28 April 2011 – and share your views below.

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