Tatane police witness dismissed ‘over armed robbery’

2012-05-18 13:25

Witness in the Andries Tatane murder case, police officer Kabelo Pule, was dismissed because he had been involved in an armed robbery, the Ficksburg Magistrates Court has heard.

Tatane was killed on April 13 last year during a service delivery protest, allegedly by police.

Advocate Johann Nel, representative of the seven accused police officers, yesterday said Pule, who was sworn in as a witness from the police’s public order unit, was in fact no longer a police member.

Yesterday Nel said Pule was dismissed during an internal hearing and did not appeal the verdict within the prescribed 21 days.

He later said there was evidence that an appeal was pending but today said he had double-checked with police union Popcru and it wasn’t aware of any appeal.

Nel put it to Pule that the testimony he gave on the Tatane incident in an earlier internal hearing differed from the testimony he had given in court this week because he had an axe to grind following his dismissal.

Pule said during the internal hearing that the force used by the police in trying to arrest Tatane on the day of his death was justified. But in court he said on Tuesday that the police officers’ conduct was wrong.

The case is back in court on August 6.

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