Tatane ‘not peaceful, innocent’

2012-04-26 12:49

Ficksburg teacher Andries Tatane was not the peaceful protester and innocent victim he had been made out to be, the Ficksburg Regional Court has heard.

Johann Nel, defence counsel for the seven policemen accused of beating Tatane to death, said Tatane was not a peaceful protester who tried to protect older people during a protest march in the town.

The officers each face murder and assault charges. Tatane was killed on April 13 2011, during a march against poor service delivery.

Cross-examining State witness Phillip Selokoe, Nel questioned his testimony about Tatane.

“You created the perception that Tatane died because he tried to protect two old people against police ... that Tatane was an innocent victim in the incident.” Selokoe confirmed this was the case.

Nel said in a video of the protest, shown to the court yesterday, a discussion could be heard that Tatane tried to enter the municipal building unlawfully.

“Tatane tried to entert?... tried to get the keys of the building and is not the peaceful man you tried to convey to court.”

Nel submitted the video showed Tatane clashed with police and got rid of his shirt himself, while his own people tried to force him away from police.

“Three members of the community were needed to pull him away, that [is how] aggressive he was.”

Before the tea break, Nel submitted Tatane showed police the middle finger after the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens group members got him away. It was submitted that a community member also apologised to police for his actions in the video.

Selokoe told the court the police video showed selective images of the day’s events. He wanted the court to look at a video taken by a resident. The court also looked at an SABC news bulletin of the protest.

After the tea break, Nel put it to Selokoe that nothing he testified to happened in the videos.

He asked Selokoe if he thought the SABC and police were involved in a conspiracy to keep the truth from the world by not showing what he had testified to.

Selokoe said the SABC showed only the main incident to get people to watch its programmes. He testified the police would not show material that would implicate them in wrongdoing.

The case continues.

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