Ficksburg remembers Andries Tatane
Bloemfontein - Various memorial events for Free State protester Andries Tatane, killed during a service delivery protest a year ago, take place in Ficksburg this weekend.
The Meqheleng Concerned Citizens (MCC) group held the first commemoration in the Ficksburg town hall on Friday afternoon.
Police officers allegedly fired rubber bullets at Tatane's chest and beat him with batons during a service delivery protest, in front of the offices of the Setsoto local municipality in Ficksburg, on April 12 last year. Residents had marched from the nearby Meqheleng township. The violence was recorded and broadcast on national television.
Tatane, a teacher, who was not wearing a shirt, was bleeding from the chest after the beating. He collapsed about 20 minutes later.
On Friday, the Ficksburg town hall was packed with local residents for the event, which included a memorial service and a speech by the local mayor.
Recently appointed Free State co-oporative governance, traditional affairs and human settlements MEC, Olly Mlamleli, addressed the crowd. A group of ANC Women’s League members in their green uniforms were also present.
The Congress of the People (Cope) would remember Tatane at a meeting in at the Mapenyalira hall in Meqheleng on Saturday. Cope parliamentary leader Mosiuoa Lekota and the Tatane family would speak to residents, the party said.
The trial against eight police officers charged with assaulting and killing Tatane was expected to start in the Ficksburg Regional Court in two weeks.