Tatane six to appear in court

2011-04-18 07:24

 A police vehicle transporting a water cannon drove through the streets of Ficksburg this morning ahead of the court appearance of six policemen accused of killing protester Andries Tatane last week.

More police cars were arriving in the Free State town, where residents were going on with their normal business.

The unarmed Tatane (33) was killed by a group of policemen on Wednesday after challenging them to spray him with the water cannon.

Meqheleng Concerned Citizens Group spokesperson Sidiso Mpekoa told Sapa outside the Ficksburg Magistrates Court that residents would attend the hearing to express sympathy with Tatane’s family.

“We are expecting a group of people to attend the hearing,” he said, adding that several provincial politicians had indicated they would also attend.

The community has given the local government until Thursday to respond to their service delivery demands.

The six policemen were arrested on Saturday.

Four of them face charges of assault and two others face murder charges, the Independent Complaints Directorate said at the weekend.

The police officers allegedly beat and shot Tatane during a peaceful service delivery protest on Wednesday.

SABC television footage shows a group of policemen beating Tatane with batons, after which he is seen holding his chest and looking down at blood on his chest.

Twenty minutes later he collapsed and died.

It was believed that he was shot with a rubber bullet.

The residents of Meqheleng township were marching to the Ficksburg municipal offices to hand over a memorandum relating to service delivery issues when the incident took place.

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