'Execution' cops' bail denial is racist - Popcru

2015-11-13 15:31
Supporters of Krugersdorp police officers accused of killing a suspect fill up a courtroom. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

Supporters of Krugersdorp police officers accused of killing a suspect fill up a courtroom. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Johannesburg - Popcru president Sizakele Cebekhulu has described Magistrate Keith Page's decision not to grant three Krugersdorp police officers, accused of murder and defeating the ends of justice, as "racist".

 - Read more: Krugersdorp 'execution' cops denied bail

"We are faced with a racist decision here," he told a large group of union members standing outside Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Friday.

"All the processes of bail have been exhausted, still the magistrate finds it possible for him to keep them inside. We are not going to agree to this," Cebekhulu said to the group, as it chanted "Why?" and "Down with a racist magistrate, down!"

Earlier, Page denied Constable Titus Mabele, Constable Jason Segole and Sergeant Puleng Sebetwa bail. The trio was allegedly caught on camera killing Khulekani Mpanza, a suspected robber.

During his judgment Page said the State's decision not to oppose bail was "ambiguous".

"The position of the State on bail is ambiguous at best and did not take the matter any further."

'Not flight risks'

He accepted that although the officers were not flight risks and that the likelihood that they would intimidate any witnesses was minimal, the CCTV evidence against them showed that they had used excessive force during the commission of the crime.

The video footage showed the police chasing a gun-wielding Mpanza down the streets of Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg. One of the officers fired the first shot which resulted in Mpanza falling to the ground and dropping his weapon.

The footage then showed another officer kicking Mpanza while another officer fired a second shot.

During his judgment, Page told the court that the officers could have made a successful arrest after Mpanza fell to the ground, as there was no sign of resistance.

"The CCTV shows accused number one approaching the deceased, who was on the floor elbows bent with his hands covering his face, showing no resistance to police.

"It has been established that an excessive degree of violence was exerted on the deceased."

Meanwhile, the SA Policing Union has vowed to take Page's decision to the High Court.

"We have made a promise to those members that we are going to the High Court, where another court will give a better judgment than this one," Sapu deputy chairperson in Gauteng Peter Ntsime said.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  police brutality  |  crime

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