Court watches Tatane assault video

2012-04-25 22:38

Ficksburg - A police video of the service delivery protests and the assault of slain protester Andries Tatane was shown in the Ficksburg Regional Court on Wednesday.

The court began watching the footage just before lunch and continued after the recess.

State prosecutor Sello Matlhoko told the court two police videos would be shown, as well as a video made by a member of the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens (MCC) group.

The public, who were warned various times in the past three days not to comment on the videos, watched the first video in silence, except for the scene where Tatane clashed with police.

It showed him beaten with batons before being wrestled away by members of the public moments before he collapsed.

Tatane's wife Rose was in tears while it was being shown.

The court was adjourned early amid problems showing the second and third videos.

Seven policemen are accused of killing and assaulting Tatane during the protest march in April 2011.

Rubber bullets

In the indictment, the State has alleged that two of the accused fired rubber bullets at Tatane at close range.

One of the shots was fired directly at his chest and penetrated his chest cavity.

The State has further alleged that the policemen did not try to apprehend Tatane, but let him go and he staggered away, collapsed and died.

According to the indictment, the cause of Tatane's death was a gunshot wound to the chest.

The policemen have denied all allegations against them and have denied that they acted unlawfully, as set out in the charge sheet.

The video showed that Tatane clashed with police twice. The first time, he took of his shirt during the struggle, then community members wrestled him away from the police.

The alleged assault and shooting happened during the second clash.

Earlier, the policemen's counsel, Johann Nel, asked that the videos be studied before he ended the cross-examination of local teacher Phillip Selokoe.

Selokoe is the deputy chairperson of the MCC, which was established to take a memorandum of problems about lack of services delivery to the Setsoto local municipality.


Nel cross-examined Selokoe on his version of the events surrounding the assault.

The State intervened to help Selokoe when he was asked for details of the origins of two objects thrown into the crowd before the riot developed.

Matlhoko submitted that the defence’s reference to Selokoe as an educated teacher, who should be able to understand the questions put to him, was disrespectful.

The State prosecutor argued that the defence should show respect to the witness and his profession, even if his answers did not suit them.

Nel argued that references to the education status of the witness were not disrespectful.

"The person is not uninformed or unschooled, and these questions are within his ability."

Magistrate Hein van Niekerk overruled the objection.

Nel submitted that the version of the assault Selokoe gave under cross-examination differed from a statement he gave to the police two days after the protest.

The small courtroom was packed with local residents; people sat on the steps and in any other place they could find.

Police stood at the doors, controlling access.

The trial continues.

  • Michael - 2012-04-25 22:58

    Apartheid repeating itself on what we cal democracy, people are killed 4 demostrating lack of service delivery. The previous generation has fought for our freedom, us the youth we must fight for our economic emicipation amongst the youth

      Sean - 2012-04-26 01:25

      lol , fisrt get a brain , then you talk ! woodwork master !!!!

      tshortbase - 2012-04-26 05:28

      @Seun what's wrong with u? U seem to be slashing each an every comment, u even telling people to get some brain first. R u an agent?

      Martin - 2012-04-26 07:22

      a bloody one?

      Peter - 2012-04-26 09:03

      @Michael, what does apartheid have to do with police brutality? Thats your answer for everything blame apartheid and white people. How about blaming lack of education or lack of a proper polic force? Why pull that card everytime. Tomorrow it would have been 18 years yet you will still blame apartheid for years to come

      Peter - 2012-04-26 09:04

      @Michael if your gonna blame someone blame ANC because they wouldnt have been protesting if they municipality and ANC actually delivered

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-04-26 03:21

    no Sean they must react with the same force deemed appropiate at the time there were at least ten policeman in the immediate area , the man was not armed and they should have known that shooting a rubber bullet at close range will cause serious damage. so i hope that answers your qeustion ,it all come down to training and officers that must be able to control the members under their command,they were jumping on him like a pack of heyenas

  • Wisemad Mcmawle - 2012-04-26 06:42

    @Sean the way you are racist you don't even know 10 cops are more than enough to over power a black man they did a good thing by killing him like snake would you say same thing if the hole drama happened to a white guy ?

  • Emmanuel - 2012-04-26 07:38

    Apartheid is not involved here, just the police brutality

  • robert.mevo - 2012-04-26 08:19

    dos who did dis must rot in jail / death sentence.i dot expect bail.

  • Kevin - 2012-04-26 09:53

    HELLO PEOPLE!!!!! From pics I have seen, the police aren't all white guys!!! Why all the racist comments and chirps about apartheid? It also seems Mr Tatane went back a second time, so he clearly didn't make his point and leave. I absolutely agree that he didn't deserve what happened and the officers should be disciplined for what happened, but are you going to shout racist when the black cops receive sentences? Quite a few of you have made assumptions here that are far from the truth.

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-04-27 20:34

    Those who killed that innocent man. Must rot in jail because the police have a bad behaviour when they carried guns wheather they are black/white. You can even think the protesters damaged their properties while innocent people are just demanding their rights without damaging nothing.

  • kasper.mbayi2 - 2012-04-27 20:46

    The gun is a problem itself. Because you can find that someone can carry it for 10 or more years without shooting even a bird with it. Its always ask the owner this question When are you going to use me? That's why you can find people who carried guns are always short tempered

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