Someone said 'shoot him' - cameraman

2011-04-24 15:40

Bloemfontein - The cameraman who captured images of the assault and shooting of Andries Tatane says he heard an order to shoot seconds before the first bullet hit Tatane in the back.

Filane Chomane, who is based at the SABC’s Bloemfontein office, said a man in plain clothes who had a video camera told police officers to "arrest the shirtless man [Tatane]".

This was during the service delivery protest march to the offices of the ­Setsoto local muncipality on April 13.

Chomane’s revelations came after ­Tatane’s family said they suspected he was targeted and killed because of his criticism of the municipality.

Eight policemen have been arrested in connection with his death.

Chomane, who filmed the march from the Meqheleng township into town, said it had been a peaceful protest until police pounced on Tatane.

He said trouble started outside the municipality offices in Ficksburg where officials accepted a memorandum from the marchers. A municipal official tried to address the crowd, but they would not listen.

As he was watching the proceedings, Chomane noticed a group of riot policemen standing next to an armoured car.

No danger

"Then I heard the man, who was ­filming with a video camera, tell the ­police officers to arrest the man who was not wearing a shirt. At that time I did not know that the shirtless man was ­Tatane," he said.

"I was suspicious because Tatane was not posing any danger. So I rolled the camera and filmed the police.

"They apprehended him, but he broke loose.

"They beat him up with batons and he tried to fight back but they were beating him so badly. Then I heard somebody say: 'Shoot him!' I heard the shot and saw something hit his back. He raised his hands," Chomane said.

"As he tried to walk, he fell. One guy who was wearing a soccer shirt held him in his arms. He was frantically calling out for help. He was saying: 'Hey, please help! Tatane is dying!'

"When the ambulance took him away I could tell that he was already dead. ­People were crying.That attack was the worst I’ve seen in my career," said Chomane, who has been a cameraman for more than 15 years.

"I felt bad afterwards. I wished I could have intervened to stop the beating ­because he was not posing any danger to the police. Even when they were beating him up he was not saying anything."

  • Bill - 2011-04-24 15:51

    Great that someone can tell it like it was!....Now justice must prevail...! Hitler style police must be eradicated!!!

      ilollipop - 2011-04-24 19:04

      Just to remind you. The Cat in the Hat said "Shoot to kill", so the police were both mimicking him and following his orders. The ANC have been wanting to slacken the Criminal Procedure Act dealing with the use of lethal force, except they have never produced the wording.

      Bloodbane - 2011-04-24 20:17

      interestig how people complain about protesters being idiots and when the police do something then they bite the police heads off! at no point in time should the police have shot. BUT and this is a big but he should not have been there and he should not have resisted... if he'd been home or at work he would be alive....

      Grazy - 2011-04-24 20:21

      Well Bill nice of the man to say it as it is, but now I'm worried for his safety.

      Spiral - 2011-04-25 07:05

      I am just glad that the policemen who shot this man is of the same race. Imagine what uprising there would have been if the policemen were white. My sincere condolences to the victim's family. It was really uncalled for and I hope justice is served on these thugs who call themselves policemen.

      clark - 2011-04-25 09:08

      - They held a memorial service for Tatane, last week. In truth they should also have had a memorial service for the death of our democracy ,our constitution and the future of the country. Thanks to the Anc , all are dead in the water. The police are supposedly there to 'serve and protect' , not to butcher a citizen who had every right to protest the lack of service delivery, while his govt. masters lavish in wealth and luxuries. In the same way the Anc harps on the apartheid ghost, let the people use Tatane's murder as a reminder of this govt's failure to uphold the rights and needs of the very people who elected them. Let this incident send a clear message to Anc supporters, that their govt. could'nt care a less for them. Only they have the power to change all this and show these monsters the back door.

      joe - 2011-04-25 09:22

      No, this miserable excuse for a government must be eradicated. Their arrogance has reached a point where they are, in their view, even entitled to commit murder. Tetane's blood is on the government's hands, not only on those directly involved. In a civilised country, the Minister in question would immediately have resigned.

      Daniel - 2011-04-25 11:15

      @Bloodbane: what do you mean he should not have been there? The right to protest is enshrined in the constitution.

      O'forth - 2011-04-25 12:56

      This should explain how it works

      BigPig69 - 2011-04-25 13:43

      Funny..... in the clip I saw he was putting up quite a fight. Also yes they did beat him with battons, but at no stage did I see the beating slowing him down, he kept fighting back. Also the blood was on his chest, not the back? Do not misunderstand me, the shooting was totaly wrong, it was stupid. The shooters must take their pains. The journalist version just does not seem to go with the clip he filmed. For all those jumping down my throat now, go look at the clip again.

      Carlos - 2011-04-25 16:06

      @BigPig69 - if YOU noticed he was going along with the cops until that cop hit him with his batton, for whatever reason, that is when Tatane hit back and there after every cop and his dog took a swing at him.

  • Zion - 2011-04-24 15:53

    There will always be this gap in the annals of the struggle. It will miraculously disappear from the history books of this nature or obversely never enter those books. But it will forever shine out as the acme of cowardice and the low point of humanity.

  • Zion - 2011-04-24 16:11

    The video shows that Tatane was shot from close range in the chest. This is the first we hear of the shooting to the back of the victim. Tatane was still standing when he indicated his chest which was bloody.

      Grazy - 2011-04-24 20:26

      I did read somewhere that he was shot twice, but also saw the one bleeding chest wound you are talking about on TV. He was standing and looking down at the wound with a unbelieving look on his face. That was just after he was beaten down and helped up. I did not saw the second, or was it first shot.

      Zion - 2011-04-25 08:46

      Grazy,Two projectile balls were removed from his chest during the Autopsy and a single cartridge contains only 2 balls. They entered the body just under the breastbone.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 11:31

      Exit wound maybe? Anyway a believe he does not have eyes in his back and if there is pain it it would be inside and the pain in the same region weather shot back of front. OR DOES IT INDICATE A BIG COVER UP? Well our cops are said to be masters of such, more so now that I 've hear they said statements like: There is no evidence, and such.

  • Zion - 2011-04-24 16:13

    Ficksburg and the happenings there will serve as a benchmark for incompetence and intolerance in our society.

  • Slapper - 2011-04-24 16:20

    Another atrocity in South Africa and the blame lays squarely with the Chief's and especially Cele. He is out of control and so are the people under him.

      djg - 2011-04-24 17:59

      starts with "lickin lips"

  • Shivermetimb - 2011-04-24 16:20

    In the Arab world, Tatane's tragic death would have led to civil uprisings and the end of the government. But in South Africa, where life is cheap, his death warrants no more than calls for peace at his funeral, and if his is lucky, a demotion for his killer. A sad country.

      Bloodbane - 2011-04-24 20:15

      you clearly have no clue about arab worlds..... in an arab world he would have been shot more than once and no one would have said a word.

      Hotzone - 2011-04-25 12:12

      I agree with bloodbane. I live and work in the arab world. The police here shoot first and ask questions later.

      Gorilla - 2011-04-26 14:46

      In the Arab world not "just one" has been killed. Hundreds are dying.

  • jaycee - 2011-04-24 16:30

    Parts of the Police seem to have become henchmen for criminal overlords.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 11:35

      lol. Since when are you not aware our's work for politicians? Tapping on presidents lines and such. Look who are friends with the Big Convicts, fraudsters & Killers- Matter of fact!!! Look at the Soviet guy who knew he was hunted & by police and who he is associated with!

  • Judith - 2011-04-24 16:35

    Thank you now we know!

  • Tigerorchid - 2011-04-24 17:37

    what gets me is if this happened 20 years ago it would have caused a major uprising here in SA, but now its oh well it happened life goes on. One death of someone not causing a problem is one death too many. The police and government need to be held accountable.

      Kevin - 2011-04-25 08:26

      Look who's dying, one less pair of lungs to suck our precious air.

  • Lennox - 2011-04-24 18:32

    If you look at the video you will see that the police decided to arrest him,after identifying him as one of the leaders, he resisted which led to the police using their batons on him. Would this have happened had he co-operated with the police?. I am not condoning the shooting of the man, which was overkill on their part, as they had enough manpower and could easily have overpowered him without even using their batons.

      Kevin - 2011-04-25 08:27

      Overkill only one died; the police could have done better! Call in the reccies!

      Zion - 2011-04-25 08:54

      The use of the firearm firing rubber bullets is not supposed to be used to fire at individuals but rather to break up a mob from a distance. The officer was not trained or just plain stupid to fire direct at the victim from short range. The correct method is to fire at the ground in front of the target and the ricochet will do the rest. Much of the energy will be dissipated. - 2011-04-25 09:36

      @Lennox: Even the tonfas (batons) should not have been used as protocol clearly instructs members on the escalation of force. Those so-called police members are clearly incompetent as they had no idea how to use their tonfas. They swung them like stupid street thugs, instead of employing the scientific methods that should have been taught to them during training. They seem to have been training by MoegApie's street monkey enforcers.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 11:54 lol. Hey they do not have ninjutsu training in the PR45/tonfa like you! but I agree they were supposed to train them before having them use them. Jujitsu, Aikido, Ninjitsu and the like are really needed for these guys. I just wonder why was the guy targeted: "Arrest the shirtless guy". Shows that the cops were brought in to get the ring leaders! Scary if that is the case- very draconic just like in Syria.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 12:10

      Please don't blame the guy for ressisting as you can see the cops are the , the police did not do their job here and clearely the crowd was baited into agitation by the stone or projectile thrown into them to justify use of force, possibly by the cops/agents. Unfurtunately it backfired coz it did not go as predicted and they would have surely doctored the vid from the plain clothesman cop who said to arrest Tatane. Shows Political interference by polititians!

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 12:11

      Meant to say the Cops are the baddies here.

  • Anti-Dictatorism - 2011-04-24 18:39

    This happens in Zim all the time. Lucky South Africans are allowed to expose these evil crimes. Thankyou journalist. FREE ZIMBABWE CAMPAIGN

      clark - 2011-04-25 13:52

      - Only a matter of time before they ban the press and any exposure.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 14:46

      lol. Oh don't worry you'll make a good Sangoma/Prophet/Psychic. They are already working on it.

      bar-one - 2011-04-26 08:46

      free zimbabwe ???? I thought it was already free .... Seems like freedom has nothing to do with the colour of the ruler,but rather the mindset .

  • Daniel - 2011-04-24 18:42

    This is only the begining of what is to come from our friends at the SAPS,be afraid, be very afraid

      whatever007 - 2011-04-24 19:02

      maybe they must give some of the baton medicine to so you can have respect for the law,not all saps members are the same

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 12:27

      See, I am african and let me tell you my friend, we enjoy clobing and clubin one to death with our Sagilas/Kiris and maybe stab with Panga or Assegai/klwa and maybe throw in a 3star pocket knife. We are very violent and our mother's do not go report thee instigator to their forlks but tell us: Mshaye anye: Beat him shitless, Hambozilwelwa- Go fight for yourself. and if your dad was murdered and you ssurvived by slight chance we don't know the word trauma- no such words- despite that the evidence of the psychological evidence is there, just cound the number of such practitioners is our strongholds. So we are very violent and more so if you do not keep us in check with a member of another race. Sorry i have been a victim of my own race- they are not my people!!! & I have bullet wounds to show the nature and amount of violence with the Nubian coz we encourage it. It started with the ancient who did practices that made the young vicious as they were constantly at war. So an Nubian cop is likely to shoot 1st and ask/regret later, especially in a croud as we are the mass mind type.

  • whatever007 - 2011-04-24 18:59

    i must say he has got very fast eyes if he can the rubber bullets hitting him in the back

  • Wayne - 2011-04-24 20:58

    He was shot by his own cousins. It's what the heathens do to one another. Uniform or plain clothes...they're all potential criminals, and armed with powerful weapons by the very government that is supposed to train them to deal with these situations...or are they really..

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 12:34

      lol. Shoot the shirtless guy. arrest the shirtless guy. Riot police disperse a peaceful crowd. Intelligence doing jobs for politicians and criminals. Cops work with criminals. Judges apolinted on political affiliations. Should I continue? See, the Shaka song was: We are going high and higher, but these days the opposite of that.

  • Shiraz - 2011-04-24 21:05

    its plain to see what transpired when it was shown on tv. there is no doubt that the police went to far as tatane was of no threat to them. very sad to watch and my thoughts go out to his family and hope justice prevails.

      gizzy - 2011-04-24 21:18

      You're right. If it was shown on TV it would have been covered up big time. SAPS are masters at abusing the public and then covering their tracks. They would have got away with this but for the cameras. Cele is 100% responsible for that man's death.

  • Xram62 - 2011-04-24 21:56

    A cop with very little training and a gun can identify a suspect, aprehend him, try him, find him guilty, sentence him, pull out a gun and execute him. A highly qualified judge in a High Court, surrounded by competent staff, all the time in the world to investigate the evidence, and the support of the legal system, cannot pass the death sentence. Re-assuring isn't it, to live in the "new" South Africa...

  • TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2011-04-24 22:27

    R.I.P Tatane :(

  • Mallyg - 2011-04-25 01:36

    This is Murder, perpetuated by Murderers

  • Geo - 2011-04-25 04:25

    It is time that the people from South Africa learn from the people from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Enough is Enough

  • Paballo Tsum - 2011-04-25 04:27

    It sounds really suspicious, somebody says one word and it leads to the police MURDURING an innocent man, Shot to kill has ruined our nation...! Although the man was lifting his hads in submission; he was still killed/murdered by the police, by people who had tried to convince themselves that he was guilty, yet he was a man who was teaching crutial skills in South Africa, i.e. a Maths Teacher. FYI Maths and Science is a major shortage in South Africa... Andries you fought for what was right but you said/did too many of the right things... RIP A. Tatane

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 12:37

      An Honorable man. Freedom!!!

      Yoni - 2011-04-25 12:47

      He was a violent bugger and he attacked the cops first, end of story. It's his own fault he acted like an mfene in front of well-trained cops. Viva Ficksburg Mapolisa, viva!

      Rover_ZA - 2011-04-26 15:57

      @Yoni The view must be quite something from all the way up there on your pedestal..

  • Lourens Erasmus - 2011-04-25 05:35

    I'm sorry but in SA peaceful protest is an oxymoron. I'm not justifying the killing. That cannot ever be justified. Blacks only know one way of protest - violent. History has proven this and it will continue this way until education levels are improved. It's too late to say to black voters they got what they deserved by voting for a criminal, uncivilised and incompetent ANC government. Yeah, the whites suffer too - with a white bread under the arm. The people that suffer the most though are the uneducated poor peepalls. Not defending Apartheid - that was wrong - but did we have service delivery problems then? Did we have thousands of killings and rapes? Did we have Malema?(ok, we did have a clown from Ventersdorp). 95% of the problems in SA are caused by the blacks. I challenge you to prove me wrong.

      Truth_Hurts - 2011-04-25 07:02

      Really? most of black protests in the past(even now) are non-violent, or do you classify thrashing rubbish bins as violent? - We didn't have service delivery protests because only the minority got 'service' and frankly blacks were too busy protesting for far more important matters. - We did have killings, I don't know how short your memory is or maybe you are just too young to remember! - lastly, 80% of the population in this country is non white, I don't know where else you expect crime to come from, especially since they are historically disadvantaged by the economically advantaged minority...

      phillip.havenga - 2011-04-25 08:37

      @Truth _Hurts while a lot of what you have said has merit, I must interject. I live in Cape Town and every time there is a Taxi Strike, Municipal Strike etc private property gets damaged and people get hurt. I worked in Cape Town CBD and I watched the Taxi driver running around shaking Pangas at people as well as damaging cars stopped at robots. Causing any form of damage to property or person is considered a violent protest.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 13:05

      @Lourens Erasmus- It is sad but the truth that our own kill our own actually are THE killers. @Truth_Hurts- Dude I am of the mind that even if you could work it in percentages you'd find that we are the wworst. I asked guys at work what would they do if their girl was raped- and possible killed and they know the person who did it and the response was you are a coward not to kill him. but on the other hand that means the collapse of the leegal system if people do not recognize it has to prevail. We hid our vary bad brother, rapist and murderer, when the the mob has had enough. We choose to bail them instead of paying university fees for our bright promissing sibling. It is with sorrow that it is our people who do these even if we make the largest proportions nothing justifies what we see out there. We say a girl deserved to be raped and called for it. The truth is the strugle had a negative effect in our siciety causse at the time violence was encouraged when toyi-toying. I know cause my father had access to the controler of operators and he did not like what he discovered. about 5 years ago there was a big strike, Satawu Security Guards. In Port Elizabeth people were killed for their choice and right not to engage in the strike! Those were not prosecuted nor was the outcome of their 3 month strugle to their favour. See we enjoy killing our own? People are being killed and treated as subhumans for refusing to be associations with certain grous: just like ganglike groups.

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 13:17

      @Philip. The Taxi guys beat up a school taxi which is not part or the public trans. They even tell people to not to have more than 4 people in their priv cars if lucky not to tell them they ain't ridin at all. They burnt an ambulance in Nyanga Township in Capetown. We are a sick people and we need help. & even our teacher acknowlage that by sending their kids to the schools in town. this all makes me cry in sorrow and anger as to how feral we seem to have gone if not signs of devolution. If we do not accept the degeneration we are facing then we are doomed and others will keep jebbing us about that, trouble shoot and resolve. We need to Burst the Puss and rake the Cobweb! I will not deny that Lourens strikes me as non-racial tolerant type but his tongue speaks true! Our society encourages violence and is evidenced by that most of us the young rather go rent or buy dwelling @ the fomer whites majority strongholds.

      Rover_ZA - 2011-04-26 16:15

      Mr Erasmus I believe if you read @Truth_Hurts's comments you will find a nail that has been quite squarely struck on the head.

  • mark59 - 2011-04-25 08:03

    Welcome to the new South Africa.

  • phillip.havenga - 2011-04-25 08:32

    I'm glad the senselessness and brutality of this attack has finally been exposed by an eye witness, however one has to wonder if he had not resisted arrest would they have acted so violently?

      drowninja - 2011-04-25 13:24

      My friend, you have to note that he resisted wrong actions from the cops. Would you not agree that who ever threw a projectile to the peaceful protesters was baiting them to get agitated to the end where ring leaders get arrested for violence? The man is a learned man and a teacher! I am of the mind the cops were rented by the authorities to actualy make arrests on the protester ring leaders. When they did not take bait to taunts they went for the one the crowd will not refuse.

  • Carolyn - 2011-04-25 08:34

    When I was young, I was told that if you were in trouble you could rely on a policeman to help you, but today, its another story,Keep as far away from them as you can, Oh yes they will help you, by robbing you, stabbing and shooting you in the back and rapeing you. The police these days just cannot be trusted at all

  • Blikskottel - 2011-04-25 08:59

    Thus an order wa given to how will the courts deal with this? It is time that the real problem, the government who are behind the copos, get taken to court.

  • NatSpeaks - 2011-04-25 10:40

    Shocker... Glad it wasn't me filming. I wouldn't be able to live with myself...

  • Zion - 2011-04-25 13:06

    The police force and the ANC should rather embark on a career in the avian business because this incident is going to hang as an albatross around the necks of this odious twosome.

  • Paul - 2011-04-25 14:04

    Why shoot him when there were 8 cops to take him down? Maybe SA cops need restraint training not beating and shooting training!?!?!? Maybe you know them PIGS should catch and kill a real criminal...sort out Hillbrow or even better sort out South Africa and catch real criminals!

  • bb - 2011-04-25 19:02

    Fantastic that he managed to film it so hopefully those thugs will be suitably punished.

  • simon - 2011-04-25 22:07

    This surely must be the start of the end for the ANC. Every June 16 the picture of Hector Petersen gets dragged out to show the 'evil' of apartheid. Now the picture of the dying Andries Tatane, murdered by the stste, must be presented at every opportunity to how truly evil the ANC has become. This must be the end of the ANC in all right-thinking people's minds !

  • MP3 - 2011-04-25 22:10

    sometimes i wonder if there is any humanity left in humanity....

  • guytheitguy2010 - 2011-04-26 04:49

    let justice prevail I hope the truth comes out into the open and heads roll.

  • jannie.swem16 - 2011-04-26 08:46

    Its interesting, you go ot Nigeria, and when someone gets run over by a car.. the body gets left in the road, for other cars to drive over it...police tie dead 'robbers' to highway guard rails to show the public what happens when you step out of line... Ive seen some cruel stuff in many countries.. this is Africa - 2011-04-26 10:00

      Jannieswem: Highway guard rails?? Most of those in South Africa have been stolen already .. most recent being those along the M5 crossing the N2 .. all gone .. !!

  • tgsenye - 2011-04-26 16:33

    This is not the South Africa that our leaders or deliberators fought for the justice must take its own course with no disturbance or any thing REMEMEBR WE ARE EQUAL BEFORE THE LAW NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW I MEAN NO ONE. For how long are we going to suffer and for how long are we going to be afraid of the the cops or police they are as equal human as us they cant do as they please with they weapons to human beings, what happens to Tatane is totally wrong and i strong believe that the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa must fire those police officers due to the behaviour they have purtrait. We must live peacefully in the democratic South Africa, Also the person who said "arrest the shirtless man" is equal to be arrested because to me it seems like he/she had some motives the person must be prosecuted as well

  • kelela24 - 2011-04-26 17:35

    I happened to be living in both apartheid and democracy.I know all the tricks used to disturb communities in the past and now. The same trick is being applied and that is BLACK VS BLACK. Brothers and Sisters, Mothers and Sisters the monster is back. This is the beginning of an end of our Democracy, We are going back to the old much hated and now loved apartheid. We felt in the trap of the oppressors by hating one another instead of growing, developing, educating, motivating our Government and the community at large about solving pressing issues. People are now against the party that fought for their freedom they are enjoying now. Instead the party is a victim of being called names. My worry is not about what is happening now but is about in few years from now. How many policeman dies on duty every year. Mr Cameraman pls do not take us back with your false statement. Where were u before the cops were arrested.The issue here is not about the late is about the future of those who are still alive growing up. Pls do not fall in to the trap of being against your fellow brother just to fulfill one party. ROME WAS NOT BUILD IN ONE DAY AND IT TOOK US MANY YEARS TO BE WHERE WE ARE NOW. Support your people in office, encourage them and give praise if you notice one. Do not wait for election to raise your concerns.

  • Mark - 2011-04-26 19:52

    And we blamed apartheid for everything ! this is in direct violation of the ANC's promises of service delivery. The ANC is not delivering, it is simply doing what any government has to do, provide services to the people. The moment you have resistance then the ANC rolls out apartheid type force and claims it is justice. The black people have to take stock of the situation in this country, do we vote the corrupt ANC back into power or we take to a new democracy ! ! ! !

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