Ficksburg protesters to go on trial
Bloemfontein - The State will press ahead with public violence charges against 15 Ficksburg residents who demonstrated alongside slain protester Andries Tatane, an official said on Tuesday.
Free State National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Medupe Simasiku said the director of public prosecutions in the Free State had decided to prosecute in the matter. The group appeared in court on Monday.
The case was postponed to February 10 for the group members to arrange legal representation.
The 15 were among a group of more than 40 people arrested during protests after a service delivery march in April 2011 in Ficksburg. Charges were withdrawn against the others.
The group was arrested in Meqheleng during the protest where resident Andries Tatane was killed, allegedly by public order police. Video footage showed riot police beating Tatane during the march to the Setsoto municipal offices in Ficksburg. Over several days, roads were blocked with stones and bricks, and tyres set alight.
The Independent Complaints Directorate was handling the investigation into Tatane's murder.
Two policemen were charged with murder and another six faced charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The eight policemen's case would be heard in the Ficksburg Regional Court over four days from April 23.