Someone said: Shoot him!’

2011-04-23 20:12

The cameraman who captured images of the assault and shooting of Andries Tatane says he heard an order to shoot seconds before the first bullet hit Tatane in the back.

Filane Chomane, who is based at the SABC’s Bloemfontein office, said a man in plain clothes who had a video camera told police officers to “arrest the shirtless man (Tatane)”.

This was during the service delivery protest march to the offices of the ­Setsoto local muncipality on April 13.

Chomane’s revelations came after ­Tatane’s family said they suspected he was targeted and killed because of his criticism of the municipality.

Eight policemen have been arrested in connection with his death.

Chomane, who filmed the march from the Meqheleng township into town, said it had been a peaceful protest until police pounced on Tatane.

He said trouble started outside the municipality offices in Ficksburg where officials accepted a memorandum from the marchers.A municipal official tried to address the crowd, but they would not listen.

As he was watching the proceedings, Chomane noticed a group of riot policemen standing next to an armoured car.

“Then I heard the man, who was ­filming with a video camera, tell the ­police officers to arrest the man who was not wearing a shirt. At that time I did not know that the shirtless man was ­Tatane,” he said.

“I was suspicious because Tatane was not posing any danger. So I rolled the camera and filmed the police.

They apprehended him, but he broke loose.

“They beat him up with batons and he tried to fight back but they were beating him so badly. Then I heard somebody say: ‘Shoot him!’ I heard the shot and saw something hit his back. He raised his hands,” Chomane said.

“As he tried to walk, he fell. One guy who was wearing a soccer shirt held him in his arms. He was frantically calling out for help. He was saying: ‘Hey, please help! Tatane is dying!’

“When the ambulance took him away I could tell that he was already dead. ­People were crying.“That attack was the worst I’ve seen in my career,” said Chomane, who has been a cameraman for more than 15 years.

I felt bad afterwards. I wished I could have intervened to stop the beating ­because he was not posing any danger to the police. Even when they were beating him up he was not saying anything.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.