7 cops in Tatane case acquitted

2013-03-28 12:42

Johannesburg - The Ficksburg Regional Court on Thursday acquitted all seven policemen accused of the death of local protester Andries Tatane.

Regional Magistrate Hein van Niekerk found the State could not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Tatane died on 13 April 2011, after police used rubber bullets and batons to subdue him during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg.

The case received huge media attention after footage of Tatane's alleged assault by police members was broadcast nationally


  • Luzuko Tosh Plaatjie - 2013-03-28 12:49

    sad news indeed

      Mbongeni Masilela - 2013-03-28 19:15

      Tatane's death must be honored every year, the next generation must know of his tragic death, he fought for better service delivery! Long live the spirit of TATANE!

      Salaminah Moremi-Kayizzi - 2013-03-28 19:23

      The Ficksburg seven are free, McBride is free and very soon the Daveyton nine will also be set free. How sickening to be in SA right now, no justice at all!

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-03-29 07:01

      That's why margistrates are paid far less than judges. Their interpretation of law is questionable. I'm quite sure a higher court will reach a different conclusion. The guy who killed Frances Rasuge was convicted on circumstantial evidence as the body was not found. Besides a blood stain in the boot of his car, there was never any direct evidence that he killed her. No one saw him kill her either. But he is serving life as we speak. These bandits should have been convicted.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2013-03-28 12:49

    Unfortunately this will embolden rogue cops to do as they please...

      Nosiphom Mazibuko - 2013-03-28 13:50

      The Boksburg 9 will also walk free, believe me - they just need a good lawyer. As their story goes, the driver did not see that the man "had fallen off the bakkie" and the others were trying to help him - the state must prove the murder not the other way around. The sensationalism of the IPID and the NPA helps no-one in particular.

      Shelle Malan - 2013-03-28 19:48

      Sadly it seems everyone can do as they please and simply walk free...just the way of life in our country. Killing anyone these days has no consequences it appears...whether you are a criminal, a cop or a can simply just do as your please....justice system is non-existant so just do what the heck you like, kill, rape, maim or murder because realistically, who's gonna put you behind bars in South Africa? Odds are stacked against law-abiding citiizens!

  • pcmynhardt - 2013-03-28 12:50

    = mob killing

  • Paddy Mmanoko Mathekga - 2013-03-28 12:51

    Now this is South african justice. Things are always opposite in this country.goeie genade. Mido Macia's family please expect the same.

  • Smiso Mkhonza - 2013-03-28 12:52

    So who was those men we saw on tv beating Tatane ? if not police then I do not believe in camares

      Nosiphom Mazibuko - 2013-03-28 13:51

      Yes they gave him ahiding, but can you prove that they murdered him? That is the difference. An agrevated assult charge may have stuck!

      Disillusioned Sa - 2013-03-28 14:10

      @ Nosiphom Mazibuko - but why do they walk free? Why not guilty of a lessor charge - I don't know the way our courts work - but can't they try them on murder and aggravated assault at the same case and dismiss the murder and find guilty on the 2nd lessor charge, but that they don't just walk free!?

      Siyabonga Biyela - 2013-03-28 14:47

      Nosipho, the results of the otopsy states the cause of a person's death. If for instance it states that he died of the wound he suffered from being shot by a rubber bullet at close range, then the cop who shot him is the one who killed him

  • Lukhele George - 2013-03-28 12:52

    Kulungile baba........

      Xolani Cwele - 2013-03-28 13:10

      ......uma kuyintando yakho baba

      Kuhle Nco - 2013-03-28 13:41

      sinikela kuwe konke baba

      HerpDerp - 2013-03-28 16:10

      kazme eytura mannek BLACK min atan ito! goodluck translating that T_T

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2013-03-28 12:52

    Getting away with murder is no longer just a figure of speech in RSA.

  • Prot Kpax - 2013-03-28 12:53

    This was expected, with the terrible case the state had, only thing is where is the justice for Andries Tatane.

      musa.kamashobane - 2013-03-28 13:41

      Prot, you are spot on, this case was horrible managed from the start. Critical state witnesses withdrew at critical hour, thus compromising the case. That may be so, if I were NPA I would appeal. But hey Nathi Mthethwa and Jeff Radebe are both skelms of the same corrupt ruling party. I will not hold my breath on NPA appealling though Prot.

  • Simpiwe Taka Liyema Myataza - 2013-03-28 12:53

    so Tatane killed himself now

  • tripledunny - 2013-03-28 12:53

    No justice, at all.

  • Ric Greyling - 2013-03-28 12:54

    this makes me happy.(rip Tatane....not happy that you died) but happy that the police are allowed tto do their work without fear or favour.

      Gary Hope - 2013-03-28 12:57

      jeez Ric, wher you been hiding the last year or so, fear or favor indeed~

      Rikus Zietsman - 2013-03-28 13:06

      "their work", as defined by whom? You? Your pastor? Your MP? Jacobs Zuma? I would call you a thick tool but that would be insulting to the intelligence of tools

      Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-03-28 14:17

      Without fear or favour? Two police men were fired for arresting a gupta member who didn't want his car searched because he is above the law. So what are u talking about?

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-03-28 16:20

      @Ric, wait till they 'work' on your family or loved ones one of these days. Tatane wasnt a criminal, an activist and educated teacher fighting for the government to deliver service to his people. Current RSA justice system is like the American system of the 50s and 60s.

  • Neo Ramahakwe Molefe - 2013-03-28 12:55

    Bloody cops and corrupt justice system!!!

  • Sheilan - 2013-03-28 12:55

    This received global media attention. Do you have any idea what rulings like this could mean for foreign investment in South Africa?

      Mark Singh Singh - 2013-03-28 13:34

      Very little in think. SA loves to deal with rogue countries and Zuma feels that as long as he allows the Chinese to do as they please, foreign investment is progressing.

  • Tsomakae Tso Dire - 2013-03-28 12:56

    I don't know what to say

  • Teboho Wa Molaoa - 2013-03-28 12:58

    This is just sick. Police rule this contry and they are free to do as they please now. Who were those ppl we saw on tv that killed him?

  • Cyprian-Wisdom Mngenela - 2013-03-28 12:58

    The Law in South Africa only upplies to the poor and nobodies. U ain't guilty even when the world saw U on TV commiting an offence. South Africa is a damaged State full of Corruption n ruled by money....

  • Anthony O'Kelly - 2013-03-28 12:59

    The police did not kill him, the president always tells the truth AND the moon is made of cheese!

  • sarah.bouttell - 2013-03-28 13:00


  • Anton Belial Alberts - 2013-03-28 13:00

    I Hope they'll atleast be charged with Attempted murder and/or Grievous Bodily Harm. Truly shocked!!!

      Philani Kcopah Goba - 2013-03-28 13:28

      how can it be attempted murder when the dude died....they will walk free! and have a drink..only thing left is people's justice!

  • Mphefo Lesh Leshabana - 2013-03-28 13:03

    Guess its only safe to say the presecution authority failed the Tatane family and the community of Maqheleng at large.........police in this country will always get away with murder......sis maan

  • Monique Naude - 2013-03-28 13:04

    Great. Now the cops will just think they can do anything to anyone, because there is nothing to stop them. This is pathetic.

  • Alexander Dowding - 2013-03-28 13:05

    The prosecuting authority in this country is useless!

      Jon Gotti - 2013-03-28 13:52

      Really Mr HOFF , you some sort of expert in the Justice Field ?

      The Hoff - 2013-03-28 14:03

      Do you ever watch the news or read the papers Jon? Doesn't sound like it based on your silly question. I don't have to be an expert to see that our criminal justice system is as vrot as every government department.

      Jon Gotti - 2013-03-28 14:14

      don't need to read papers Mr The Hoff , spend some time in the courts in the actual trials then pass your silly comments.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-03-30 09:32

      cops are useless......courts are useless....ok my question is are you as SA Citizen useful???

  • Phumlani Loliwe - 2013-03-28 13:05

    This does not look for the rest of the some point the people in this country will fight back and there are enough guns around for them to use. We're seriously sitting on a time bomb here, too bad not all of us can move to Australia!

  • Lovemaster Armstrong - 2013-03-28 13:06

    "found the state could not prove its case beyond reasonable doubt" this Magistrate surely does not have TV at home, this is a lesson that when you protests against the government's poor service delivery, you will die infront of the whole worlds and those involved will be found innocent, i'm moving to U.S.A bye all in your sh##3t country.

      Mc Segal - 2013-03-29 23:04

      I did not see any reporting re this case on TV at all.... I dont watch SABC TV > and neither does the magistrate.....

  • Natoematoe - 2013-03-28 13:06

    Just stop being part of violent / any prostests and you would not be at risk. In other words WORK like the rest of us.

      AquilaKaHecate - 2013-03-28 13:50

      Yes, slave. Go to work, never complain. Your master will pat you on the head.

  • Thozama Ngavu - 2013-03-28 13:11

    Our justice system is a joke....period

  • Lungi Gaika - 2013-03-28 13:12

    May the spirit or ghost of Tatane follow them and haunt them wherever they go. Live Tv footages don't lie. They may have won the case here but One day they will answer for this deed.

  • Melato David - 2013-03-28 13:12

    i want that lawyer for my case good one.

  • Marumo Gaddafi Waka Maake - 2013-03-28 13:13

    The south african justice system

  • DerekMain - 2013-03-28 13:13

    Why even bother with courts and cops anymore - just mete out your own justice.

  • Ntshobs - 2013-03-28 13:15

    Now Tatane's family must dish out their own justice, after all they know those officers.

  • Nettie Potgieter - 2013-03-28 13:17

    These protestor MUST start to listen to police orders. Protesting that is ilegal andcriminal must stop in this country.

      TinavoMagaisa - 2013-03-28 16:26

      It wasnt an illegal protest. it was registered with the police but police wanted to disperse the crowds, am sure at orders of local politicians because the demonstrations were justified and were getting media coverage daily. I am sure if the cops had beaten up and killed people protesting against e-tolling you would not have said the same

  • Phumlani Loliwe - 2013-03-28 13:18

    I'm telling y'all, Mexican drug cartels have nothing on they even teach them LAW at these police colleges coz they don't seem to know anything about it?

  • NicolasGombert - 2013-03-28 13:20

    I solely blame the NPA. They didn't prepare their case properly and relied on unreliable witnesses who turned against the NPA during evidence. The defence didn't even bother to cross examine the prosecution's witnesses, they've screwed up al by themselves. The magistrate can only act on the evidence placed in front of him and when the evidence is faulty or missing, he has to find the accused not guilty. The words "dereliction of duty" comes to mind and it is indeed a sad day for South Africa.

      Disillusioned Sa - 2013-03-28 14:13

      But was this 'dereliction of duty' orchestrated by the ministers to suit the ANC cause and let the guilty (as sin!) walk?

  • ltmodise - 2013-03-28 13:21

    I fail to understand our justice systym. The Tatane family should really take their own justice now

  • Sifundo Mbebe - 2013-03-28 13:21

    "the state could not prove its case beyond reseanable doubt" I DON'T BELIEVE THIS.

  • solomon.shingange.9 - 2013-03-28 13:24

    In other countries, people kill cops during protest, just because they had enough of police brutality and bribes. But I don't promote it. Few bad cops are tarnishing the good name of SAPS.

  • Sammy Ngwenya Riccostrong - 2013-03-28 13:25

    Tatane's family must just take the law into their hands, mob justice is the only way to solve the matter, coz our justice system is failing us, criminals are freed

  • Reuben Maswanganyi Papa Xihlovo - 2013-03-28 13:25

    justice also wrks for police officers.i think the public must be taught cpa we can avoid lot of fatalities.fact is if you are violet during time of arrest force wil b applied which at the time an officer fills is directlx propotional to your action.let it be a learnin curve for every party involvd.

  • DJ-Mweb Nkukza Van Mnet - 2013-03-28 13:26

    The is something lacking in our justice..if they can't protect us,who must?

  • bridgette.mtetwa - 2013-03-28 13:28

    There's no justice in South Africa...*sad*!!

  • natasha.kawimbe - 2013-03-28 13:29

    WTF???? on what grounds

  • The Hoff - 2013-03-28 13:30

    It is time for all of us South Africans to realise that we now officially live in a police state. The police are evidently untouchable. They can do no wrongs according to the legal system. We do not have to accept this however and should double our efforts to demand that government give the police a drastic overhaul to end the endemic rot which occurs throughout the South African Police Service.

  • mthuthani - 2013-03-28 13:31


  • Sphephelo Khuluse - 2013-03-28 13:34

    Country governed by ex-convicts, what do u expect.

  • Mohaola Keke - 2013-03-28 13:34

    The family is poor cannot compete with the likes of pistorius in court oh!! I hate apartheid cos all this are the results of it, the investigating team took advantage i hope investigative journalism is watching

      musa.kamashobane - 2013-03-28 13:50

      Mohaola, its all about money. Look behind you, Zuma ran away from his trial because of deep pockets.

      Irene Kambo - 2013-03-28 13:52

      So you still blame apartheid? Almost 20years down the line? Wow!

      Jackie Dee - 2013-03-28 14:23

      Do the only thing you do, blame apartheid. Blame apartheid for Zumas Nkandla while you at it, or blame the very air you breathe on that era as well.

  • James Smythe - 2013-03-28 13:36

    Jeez, we cannot have the ANC's militia getting into trouble for merely killing people now, can we?

  • Michael John Anderson - 2013-03-28 13:38

    I don't know what you're all on about. All the did was subdue the protester... to death. Tatane, one person, was obviously a great threat to 7 armed men shooting and beating him to death. I LOVE this country. They should have sent Tatane to CAR to avoid the whole awkward court case scenario. Save court fees, send demonstrators to die in CAR.

  • Oliver G Ndebele - 2013-03-28 13:39

    Absurd justice system...authoritarianism is knocking.

  • david.luis.9822924 - 2013-03-28 13:39

    an unarmed citizen is shot in the chest in view of cameras and all are acquited. RIP justice in SA. the Blue Uniform gang has been given a license to kill indiscriminately.