Tatane State witness a suspended cop

2012-05-17 19:08
Ficksburg - A State witness in the trial of seven policemen accused of killing Andries Tatane was recently suspended from the police, the Ficksburg Regional Court heard on Thursday.

Lawyer for the seven, Johann Nel, questioned Constable Kabelo Pule on whether he was still in the police service. Pule told the court he was on suspension, but was still a policeman.

"I cannot remember since when, but I am still a policeman."

The seven officers are on trial for the assault and murder of Ficksburg teacher Tatane, during a march against poor service delivery in the Setsoto local municipality on 13 April 2011.

Nel wanted to know from Pule if he had appealed against his suspension, because the defence was of the opinion that he had already been dismissed.

A letter dated February 2012 about Pule’s suspension, and confirmed by the Free State police management, was read to the court. In it he was notified that he could appeal the decision within 21 days.

"Did you appeal against this document?" asked Nel, a question he had to repeat three times before Pule answered that it was his union’s job.

He was unable to tell the court whether appeal papers were filed and was adamant he was suspended without pay. The reason for his suspension was not known.

Later, Nel submitted he only received word late on Thursday morning that an appeal had been filed against Pule's suspension.

Nel continued the hearing by submitting a record of a disciplinary hearing relating to Tatane's death, at which Pule was a witness.

In the evidence read to court from the tribunal record, it appeared Pule agreed that proper police procedures were followed.

In court however, Pule described Tatane's scuffle with police and said the police officers seen in the video of the day's events had not handled the incident correctly.

The matter continues.

Read more on:    police  |  andries tatane  |  bloemfontein

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