Tatane: Questions over witness's status

2012-08-06 18:01
(File, Volksblad)

(File, Volksblad)

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Ficksburg - The trial of seven policemen accused of killing protester Andries Tatane on Monday heard argument about whether a State witness was still in the police's employ.

The policemen's lawyer, Johann Nel, continued his cross-examination of the witness, Constable Kabelo Pule from Thaba 'Nchu.

He submitted that the SA Police Service had no evidence that Pule appealed against his dismissal from the police in February 2012.

The police's Pretoria office had no indication of any appeal notice, Nel said.

"I put it to you, according to all information today [Monday], no official notice was received from you or your union, and nothing was received on your dismissal from police."

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’

Pule told Nel he had no knowledge of what he was saying. The constable then produced a document, which he claimed indicated that an appeal had been lodged.

"I have a notice for an appeal, I do not know what you're talking about," Pule said through an interpreter.

Nel told the court Pule's document indicated no date and no sender, except for a fax line identification of "Popcru Free State" at the top.

Popcru is the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union.

Nel submitted that the only proper documents available were police papers detailing his (Pule's) disciplinary hearing on a charge of armed robbery, the guilty verdict, and his dismissal on 9 February 2012.

He had 21 days to appeal against the dismissal. A police letter dated 23 March 2012 indicated no appeal notice was filed.

Grudge against police

Nel submitted that Pule's evidence in the current trial had dramatically deviated from his testimony on what happened the day of Tatane's death, which he gave at the disciplinary hearing.

"You harbour a grudge against your former employer [police]. That is why your testimony was different."

Twice during Monday's cross-examination Pule started asking Nel questions.

Replying to Nel's question about the Popcru logo on his appeal notice, Pule asked Nel to rather show the logs on the police documentation he submitted.

Earlier, he also told Nel he should "learn himself to listen" because he already told the court he appealed within the 21-day period allowed.

Nel told the court that Pule's appeal notice document could have been sent by anybody.

The case continues.

Read more on:    police  |  andries tatane  |  bloemfontein
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