Law Society: Ficksburg death shocking

2011-04-15 18:00

Johannesburg - The violence which led to the death of Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane was "shocking, unjustified and disproportionate", the Law Society of SA (LSSA) said on Friday.

"By all accounts Mr Tatane, who was part of a group protesting against the lack of service delivery in the town, posed no threat to the police," LSSA leaders Nano Matlala and Praveen Sham said in a statement.

Tatane was a member of the Congress of the People and Ward 14 candidate for the May 18 local government elections in Meqheleng, Ficksburg in the eastern Free State.

He was killed in the town on Wednesday, allegedly after being hit by a rubber bullet and being beaten by the police. The incident was broadcast on SABC news that night.

Group offers to help family

The alleged police brutality has since been widely condemned by political parties, trade unions and civil society.

The society has offered to help Tatane's family explore all legal remedies open to them, including instituting a claim against the police minister.

"The LSSA calls on the Independent Complaints Directorate, the minister and the Ficksburg local authority to investigate the incident speedily, including the holding of an inquest. No stone must be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to book.

Constitutionally correct

"As long as previously marginalised and dispossessed communities continue to live in dire poverty, the increasing disillusionment with regard to poor or non-existent service delivery will, inevitably, lead to protests."

The LSSA believed it was within the community's rights to demand that the Constitution be respected in relation to adequate housing, human dignity, health care, food, water and social security.

Government and the police should act with sympathy and not violence when addressing the complaints of communities.

"The LSSA urges the [SA Police Service] to exercise appropriate restraint and use force only as a last resort. It must also be proportionate to the threat facing the Saps. South Africa should learn from Egypt on how to deal with crowd control."

  • Simpiwe Cele - 2011-04-15 18:19

    A protester dies and all because our beloved ANC led municipalities are non starters and sub standard performers. Do we stand for this for another 5 years ? I certainly hope NOT my brothers and sisters , Change is an imperative.

      MaLemmer - 2011-04-16 09:29

      Too true. Spread DA word!

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-04-16 13:37

      @MaLemmer Amen!!!

      Adam Kane - 2011-04-16 16:07

      Well.. I have seen this before and it isn't an ANC fashion trend. After every government before has given rise to the same incidents you think it will change just because the DA replaces the ANC? Then you are in for a nasty surprise. Until South Africans shed the "government is ruler" mentality, we'll have the same. To all the ANC, DA and other "Party Supporters"... Cheers, you bunch of slaves!

  • Keith - 2011-04-15 18:32

    What a disgrace for the police to take such hard steps to control protests. The Congress of the people should be ashamed of being part of the ANC, it is time for change and time to show more respect for the poor of this country, who are coercised into voting for the same party with the same old promises. Take charge of your vote and who every you vote in does not perform take your vote back and give it to someone else. My heart goes out to Tatane's family

      gizzy - 2011-04-15 18:40

      Keith, The congress of the people is actually COPE! Nothing at all to do with the ANC!

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-04-16 13:28

      In fact I'm sure the police knew he was the COPE candidate. Is this a case of ANC loyalists killing off the opposition?

  • Judgmental - 2011-04-15 18:32

    As discussed on the radio today; non of these cops are arrested nor suspended, but, when two traffic cops swore at Winny Mandela they were suspended. A law for the rich and a law for the poor

      Mike Hoxbig - 2011-04-15 18:39

      Nope. A law for the ANC elite and a law for the rest.

      gizzy - 2011-04-15 18:41

      That's the ANC for you! Cadres are above the law!!!

      Kevin - 2011-04-15 18:57

      Are sure they swore at Winnie, I thought she swore at them.

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-04-15 18:38

    It's still pathetic how it is still being portrayed as an "alleged" crime, when the entire thing was caught on camera.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-17 17:00

      mike, this "alleged" thing drives me nuts. THE WHOLE OF SOUTH AFRICA SEES THE INCIDENT[CORRECTION:MURDER] ON NATIONAL TV. ALSO SOME OVERSEAS NETWORKS. but is alleged?????? what the hell?

  • Kevin - 2011-04-15 19:04

    In a real democracy the Minister in charge of the police would have had to resign. In a real democracy the Commander of the police unit responsible would have been suspended immediately and investigated as regards his culpability. In a real democracy the police members responsible for the brutal attack would have been suspended, arrested and charged with assault. In a real democracy the police members responsible for the shooting at point blank range of an unarmed man would have been suspended, arrested and charged with murder. Vote for real democracy, which means chucking out the incumbents, whoever they may be, on a regular basis so that they are held accountable for their misdeeds.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-17 17:00

      amen kevin, amen.

  • Motho - 2011-04-15 19:05

    What a sad story!

  • Shane - 2011-04-15 19:09

    what SA needs now is a gadaffi style uprising against the ANC !!!!

      Palian - 2011-04-16 02:19

      I'm right next to you, brother :) Start with the elitist first

  • Neil - 2011-04-15 19:10

    If he wasnt throwing stones he would be alive now...Tough shit! HE should have stayed at home ! no sorry for stone throwers ! Bummer !

      Warren - 2011-04-15 19:32

      Neil,you're clearly an idiot! If people who have NOTHING don't protest then they will always have NOTHING! In the video he clearly resists police beating him with batons. I would like to see what you would do when people want to beat you with batons! The brutality was totally unecessary, they could have easily held him down and arrested him! So please keep your retarded views to yourself next time specially when you have no idea what you're talking about!

      Old-Jim - 2011-04-15 19:54

      I saw the video tonight on the news, and if you had opened your eyes you would see that he was not being agressive to the cops, but trying to protect himself from the batons of the bullying a!!!oles called police, he did not even have a stick or stone in his hand. This is just downright bullying by the authorites. Arrest them all.

      phillip.havenga - 2011-04-15 20:09

      Neil, I feel you are being overly simplistic in your accusation. The Police are meant to protect what exactly were they protecting? There was no indication that this (Single) man posed a lethal threat to 6+ armed Police Officers. I hope heads role as this is a serious injustice perpetrated against an unarmed man.

      feppie - 2011-04-16 08:07

      Neil, look for the wounds all over your pathetic body. If you didn’t add a comment, no one would have known you're an IDIOT! No sorry for intelligence deprived! Bummer !

  • Riaan de Lange - 2011-04-15 19:19

    In Afrikaans we say, H.K.G.K. This is the most shocking video I've ever seen in my entire life. How dare the police do something like this? This is totally against a democracy. A human being, standing up for his and his people's rights, are shot at, brutally beaten up, and later dies. By making a simple change in your life, by just drawing a cross in another block on 18th May, you can change the world! It will change the way you live each day! I'm disgusted in everyone that was involved with his death. Only a miracle would change my mind now...

      Palian - 2011-04-16 02:23

      Well said, Riaan. Remember too that the revolts in northern Africa started after a simple, poor man in Algiers set himself alight in protest of police confiscating his vegetable cart. So then, what are we waiting for ;)

  • Warren - 2011-04-15 19:30

    Neil,you're clearly an idiot! If people who have NOTHING don't protest then they will always have NOTHING! In the video he clearly resists police beating him with batons. I would like to see what you would do when people want to beat you with batons! The brutality was totally unecessary, they could have easily held him down and arrested him! So please keep your retarded views to yourself next time specially when you have no idea what you're talking about!

  • nomcebo.malinga - 2011-04-15 19:39

    just saw dis scene on tv, it ws shocking, da best thing da police wer suposd 2 do, was 2 arrest da guy nt 2 do wat they have done, realy wats hapening in south africa?

  • Simphiwe - 2011-04-15 19:47

    I may not be a politician and understand what they go through to lead us, but i do know that what happened to this man was not supposed to happen. What on earth is wrong with our government. what is wrong with the South African President? Nathi mthethwa, The Bheki Cele. where are the men in SA? What a shame that our country is going down while we watch and do nothing because we are not on the same political party? Gone are those days where a human was respected in the black culture, buye kuphi "ubuntu" ma Africa?

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-04-16 13:37

      @Simphiwe Speak with your vote. Don't vote ANC!! And convince your mates to do the same...

  • Achmed - 2011-04-15 20:25

    I feel for Mr Tatane and his family and I agree that they need as much help to get justice for this unjustified death caused bt the incompetance of government. Unfortunately I believe that the Law Society cannot organise a p1ss-up in a brewery so I am not sure what help his family are going to get.

  • Sizwe - 2011-04-15 21:57

    Just saw the clip and even a blind man can see the deceased punching at a police officer and trying to take his baton from him, the police officer responded by using his baton as the deceased was clearly violent. The nonsense of being politically correct in a volatile situation is for textbooks and academics, in the real world violence is met violence. The aggresive was aggressive to the cops and they reacted in manner that could best stop his tirade, when he stopped punching the officer the other officer did not carry on assaulting him instead they stood back, this is nothing akin to the Rodney king saga, or apartheid style incidents, the police acted appropriately in a situation that was volatile. The police(riot) are issued with batons and rubber bullets in the first place, so they can use them in protest actions that turn violent. So can we really be shocked when the police are confronted with violent people, and they use the very equipment issued to them?

      Mike Hoxbig - 2011-04-15 22:10

      So you agree with them shooting him while he was down?

      Sizwe - 2011-04-15 22:59

      Please watch the video and find the scene where he is shot at?

      Palian - 2011-04-16 02:00

      The police(riot) are issued with batons and rubber bullets in the first place, so they can use them in protest actions that turn violent Cool Sizwe, I issued myself with some hardware too. cant wait for the next protest action in MY town. i may just go on a crusade and take a few fascist pigs with me. YOU CANT JUST GO F*****G MURDER SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU'RE A PIG!! THE MAN WAS UNARMED FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Where's your respect for your fellow man? Shoot the pig shoot the pig. Shoot the pig dead, the pig is a coward etc etc et al et al ad nausea. THANKS AGAIN, SOUTH AFRICAN PIG SERVICES!! THANKS ANC VIVA

      Mike Hoxbig - 2011-04-16 08:47

      Here's the part where he is shot. Note the gun on the right. Next time analyse the video properly before jumping to conclusions :)

      Warren - 2011-04-16 13:11

      Im sorry..but you dont shoot a person with a rubber bullet at point blank range,or hit him repeatedly over the head while he's down!!! He swung because they had hit him with the would do the same! They could have easily overpowered him to the ground and hand cuff him! simple..but no,lets rather do it the violent way..I'v had this shield,baton and gun with rubber bullets for awhile now and haven't been able to use it! It's actually quite sick!

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-04-16 13:33

      This is exactly the same as apartheid police violence - roudy protesters being subdued by the police. The only difference is the colour of the policemen. If a protester (a single protester isolated from the crowd) becomes a problem, then well trained police will hold him down, cuff him, and put him in a police van to calm down. It is never justified for a group of police to beat a man to death. Never!!!

      phillip.havenga - 2011-04-17 07:47

      Sizwe, if someone is attacking me I am going to try and limit the damage done to my body irrelevant of who the person is. The fact of the matter is this was an unarmed man and it DID NOT require 6 Police Officers to violently beat him when there job was to subdue the crowd not kill them. If he was armed with a knife/gun/pipe then he would have been a potential lethal threat. This incident is no different to what was perpetrated in the past the only difference is this time it's in the name of the ANC and not the NP.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-17 17:10

      sizwe, surely ONE policaman can take down ONE rioter?? without a baton?? let alone shoot him? if, for some incredible reason the sap had to shoot, what about the legs? i agree fully that when a saps mans' life is in danger, by all means shoot him. clearly here, it was not the case. come to think of it, i think the sap panicked. he was too much for them. all this due to non-delivery and affirmative action police. it starts and ends with the people at the top. that poor family. my condolences to them all. and i salute andries for standing up to the sap brutality. that photo of his best friend holding him, will go down in history as the day of infamy against the poor, down-trodden, forgotten people of south africa. i wonder if this incident is not the beginning of the end of the anc.

  • Sizwe - 2011-04-15 23:09

    When all is said and done the organisers of this protest march ought to be held accountable. If the community were really upset by the administration within the municipality they had merely to wait 6 weeks to remove the people they did not want in office permanently. The local government election are near, national and provincial elections were two years ago, so if they were genuinely unhappy they need not have resorted to protests or violence but to do the most basic thing which is a right that South Africans are enfranchised with, which was to vote. South Africa has many challenges but a dearth of opposition parties is not one, we even have a green party on our ballots for crying out loud. Just be realistic and vote for a different party instead of protesting and destroying your very own facilities.

      Joe_Massahar - 2011-04-16 13:35

      @Sizwe I don't agree with who you find responsible, but I do hope many people will listen to you and vote the ANC out of power. Enough is enough!! VIVA THE NEW REVOLUTION!!!

  • Palian - 2011-04-16 01:53

    Study the clip. See how (at least) one fascist pig keeps firing shotgun rubber bullets into the man's upper chest whilst his brave 3-5 fellow pigs try to 'restrain' the protester with batons. Firstly, one does not shoot into a pack if the 'pack' is largely, in this case, your fellow fascist pig comrade cadres. Secondly, the fascist pigs are trained (?) to NOT fire the 'potentially' (as is in this case) lethal rounds directly onto a person's body. It must be done into the ground so that the rubber bullet ricochets off the ground, thus breaking most of the momentum. I see assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempted murder as well as murder raps. And the taxpayer will foot South African Pig Services' legal bills and victim's family reward. Good thing we could see the faces of the fascist pigs. They probably did it for the TV crew, thinking how it would impress their gals and kids. Their day will come too.

  • BizScene - 2011-04-16 04:06

    This is just too much! If I was an ANC councilor I'd feel like a criminal trying to drum up votes after this. As long as these ANC high-flying politicians, local government officials and corrupt police commissioners like Cele have their wallets greased, they couldn't care one bit about their own people at the rock-bottom end of society. Being elected means ONE thing to them - get greased and grease your friends' wallets. Bugger the people. At least the corrupt Nats actually looked after their own - white Afrikaners weren't treated like dogs. This can just as well be Libya or Zimbabwe, the way ANC officials carry on. The poor family - think how that mother must feel. And the deceased was a MATHS teacher on top of it. The day will come that the whites will stand side-by-side with the township dwellers and get rid of the scum that's lining their pockets at every one else's expense.

      Kevin - 2011-04-16 09:03

      All ANC councilors are criminals!

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-17 17:14

      bizscene, i reckon your comment about whites standing side by side with township people is nearer to the mark than you may think. all colors of the nation are getting gatvol!

  • Kevin - 2011-04-16 09:00

    It just shows us that this present regime has got no answer there are just too many people around for the land's resources. I won't miss this person will you? Cluster bomb them rather like Gaddafi is doing.

  • MX2 - 2011-04-16 10:34

    Extreme brutality by armed police against an unarmed civilian. Who taught them these brutal tactics, or perhaps none of them have received any training in discipline & restraint? I am disgusted. My sympathy to the family.

  • Dharmesh - 2011-04-16 11:29

    What have we become? Maybe the ANC and police force burn in hell. We really are a 3rd world country.

  • Wil - 2011-04-16 11:53

    Remember courageous Andries Tatane. Build him a monument on the place where he was savagely overpowered, assaulted and murdered. Unarmed he merely demanded his rightful democratic rights of government of, by and for his people. For that the barbaric brutal might of the real corrupted minority oppressors of Africa took his life. Poor & All, reject undemocratic claims to your support and vote with misused sentiments, empty promises and excuses, always blaming others. Blitz those videos and photos over the internet for the whole world to see what the much acclaimed democracy looks like. Watch, the poor oppressed masses of Africa are freeing itself from its own tyrants.

      Andy49 - 2011-04-16 17:20

      Agree 100% with your comment. Do you think the AintSee will erect a Hector Pietersen type memorial in Ficksburg to show the world the uneccessary police brutality. Use it in the same way that the Pietersen memorial is used, bring all visiting tourists to see it & have the circumstances told (honestly) about the useless, corrupt AintSee failure to govern.

      JOHNNYBRAVO - 2011-04-17 17:15

      yes, lets start a fund to build a memorial for this man!

  • Daniel - 2011-04-16 13:36

    why dont we have those stun guns they have in the usa one shot with the shocker and they would have been in the position to cuff him but no we have rubber bullets which is not fatal except if you shoot it from 3 feet , i personally think the police man fired under pressure but still could have been avoided , sad sad day in south africa , my heart goes out to his family and to simpiwe cele you so right in what you said the reason it all started

  • selby mokoen - 2011-04-17 08:40


  • kaiqi20 - 2011-04-17 17:38 ????????~??? ,)))),”)~~ ,”~) ??¦? ??¦? |? ?||?|?| ++++++++++++++ ~~0nline st0re~~~ + + –?--------------?– ——F r e e—S h i p p i n g—

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