Tatane was a candidate - Cope

2011-05-19 19:39

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Pretoria - Andries Tatane, who was killed in a service delivery protest last month, was an independent candidate in the municipal elections, Cope said at the Independent Results Centre in Pretoria on Thursday.

Tatane stood as an independent candidate for ward 14 in Ficksburg in the eastern Free State despite him "still being" a member of the Congress of the People (Cope).

"Tatane was supposed to be on our proportional list but then he decided to become an independent ward candidate," party official Dennis Bloem told Sapa.

"I don’t know why he did that but he was still an active member of Cope at the time of his death. He never officially resigned."

Another Cope member said that Tatane was registered on Cope's PR list of candidates for the municipal election.

The Times Live website however claimed that Tatane had left Cope and was not a registered candidate. By 16:15, it was not clear who had won that ward.

Change

On Wednesday, there was a voter turnout of as low as 30% at some voting stations in Ficksburg.

Tatane’s wife, Rose, voted at the local Methodist Church on Wednesday, she told the Times.

"Andries is looking down at me from the other side of this world, smiling and happy that I'm voting for the change he so desperately wanted in Ficksburg."

She said she voted for her husband's sake because he would have "woken up everyone in this house to go and vote".

"Though my husband is gone, I will vote. I will vote because, by voting, I will be bringing about change," she told the newspaper.

"He was fighting for change. His dream was to see change and development in Ficksburg. He was looking forward to the elections and if we don't vote we will be failing him," she said.

Beaten

On April 13, police allegedly fired rubber bullets into Tatane's chest and then beat him with batons during a protest in the Meqheleng township.

He and dozens more were protesting outside the Setsoto municipal offices demanding services like water and sanitation.

His death was broadcast on national television and widely condemned by political parties, unions and civil society.

The teacher was seen holding his hand against his chest and collapsed about 20 minutes later. He died before an ambulance arrived.

He had apparently confronted the policemen about firing a water cannon at an elderly man.

Eight policemen were arrested for his murder and were refused bail by the Ficksburg Magistrate's Court. They reappear in court on June 2.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cope  |  andries tatane  |  elections
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