Tatane case taken to SA Human Rights Commision

2011-04-19 12:47

A formal complaint has been lodged with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) about the “excessive and unjustified” use of force against slain protester Andries Tatane.

The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) said on Tuesday that it wanted the commission to investigate whether this use of force contributed to Tatane’s death.

Tatane collapsed and died 20 minutes after he was beaten and shot by police officers during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg in the Free State last week. The assault was broadcast on SABC news.

The council wanted the commission to probe whether the use of force was justified in the circumstances and whether any police involved should be held accountable, said Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo.

It also wanted an investigation into whether the police had taken the appropriate action to deal with the incident and whether the Constitution or any statutes had been breached.

Naidoo said the council welcomed the Independent Complaints Directorate’s (ICD) decision to lay charges against six police officers.

“We are pleased that swift action has been taken to bring to justice those whose actions outraged the nation,” he said.

He said Casac had been in contact with Tatane’s family and had offered to provide legal support including a watching brief over the criminal prosecution and exploring other legal remedies the family may wish to pursue.

Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga said the body received the complaint on Friday, and was looking at it.

In a statement, SAHRC chairman Lawrence Mushwana said it had engaged the ICD about the attack and subsequent death of Tatane.

Mushwana said the SAHRC had wanted to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the ICD investigation of the incident.

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