Tatane not peaceful, court hears

2012-04-26 14:19

Ficksburg - Ficksburg teacher Andries Tatane was not the peaceful protester and innocent victim he had been made out to be, the Ficksburg Regional Court heard on Thursday.

Johann Nel, for the seven policemen accused of beating him Tatane death, said he was not a peaceful protester who tried to protect older people during a protest march in the town.

The officers each face murder and assault charges. Tatane was killed on 13 April 2011, during a march against poor service delivery.

Cross-examining State witness Phillip Selokoe, Nel questioned his testimony about Tatane.

"You created the perception that Tatane died because he tried to protect two old people against police... that Tatane was an innocent victim in the incident." Selokoe confirmed this was the case.

Nel said in a video of the protest, shown to the court on Wednesday, a discussion could be heard that Tatane tried to enter the municipal building unlawfully.

Selective images

"Tatane tried to enter... tried to get the keys of the building and is not the peaceful man you tried to convey to court."

Nel submitted the video showed Tatane clashed with police and got rid of his shirt himself, while his own people tried to force him away from police.

"Three members of the community were needed to pull him away, that [is how] aggressive he was."

Before the tea break, Nel submitted Tatane showed police the middle finger after the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens group members got him away. It was submitted that a community member also apologised to police for his actions in the video.

Selokoe told the court the police video showed selective images of the day's events.

He wanted the court to look at a video taken by a resident. The court also looked at an SABC news bulletin of the protest. After the tea break, Nel put it to Selokoe that nothing he testified to happened in the videos.

He asked Selokoe if he thought the SABC and police were involved in a conspiracy to keep the truth from the world by not showing what he had testified to.

Selokoe said the SABC showed only the main incident to get people to watch its programmes. He testified the police would not show material that would implicate them in wrongdoing.

The case continues.

  • Marion - 2012-04-26 14:29

    Unedited video footage will speak for itself.

  • Shirley - 2012-04-26 14:30

    Of course he was not innocent.Live by the sword.........I dont say he deserved to die but it is clear from the footage that there was nothing peaceful about him.

      John - 2012-04-26 14:59

      Whether he was aggressive towards the police or not is irrelevant. The question is whether they did not have any other option than to beat him to death to subdue him. There were seven of them, one of him, without a gun or a knife or any weapon as far as I can tell. Two or three of them could have forced him to the ground and another could have cuffed him. Hands and feet if needed. To insinuate that he had it coming is disingenuous and, with all due respect to you, a symptom of a sick society. Nothing about this is can be condoned. All of us should be angry instead of saying things like, if you wave your finger at the police, expect to be beaten to death or to within an inch of it. What we should be saying is that nothing gives seven policemen the right to beat to death a protester when he is not threatening their lives, no matter how hard he screams or how many middle fingers he put up.

      djmain1 - 2012-04-26 15:19

      Not surprising - when the powers that be will not listen to any reasoning, what course is left to the people. The only way they WILL be heard is through violence.

      Sepaka C-Parker Mo'Africa Ngwane - 2012-04-26 16:30

      @John - I couldn't agree with you more.

  • Peter-Peter - 2012-04-26 14:31

    There are, im sure, many other 'fallen heroes'...people portrayed as 'heroes' but in actual fact, are just hellbent on effing stuff up and are just as ill disciplined as this guy was

      Kala - 2012-04-26 14:51

      @sabongam - Your whole comment was an assumption.

      Keith - 2012-04-26 14:54

      sabongam, remove the chip from your shoulder, count slowly to ten, then rewrite you diatribe. In the same vein, the only thing you know is having your 3 wives slaving for you while you sit in front of your PC looking for something to rave about.

      Shirley - 2012-04-26 14:56

      Sabongam:Go do racial profiling somewhere else!

      Felix - 2012-04-26 14:57

      sabongam, you shouldn't jump to conclusions and give away your racist tendencies.

      Peter-Peter - 2012-04-26 14:58

      lol...sabo...jealousy makes you nasty! the problem with portraying these guys who die during protests, is that they were obviously doing something that was threatening to the police etc. Mandela is a classic example of what i am talking about, Winnie and malemma as well. Mandela spent much less that HALF of the time he was supposed to in prison...he stayed in a fully kitted house with internet and everything. His wife, a murderer (Stompie), and Malemma...nuff said! Tatanes life could have been worth more, had he not been such a hooligan and 'typical' protester. so take YOUR c**p sure there are some homeless people you can go idolize as 'struggle icons' too

      Peter - 2012-04-26 14:58

      Sabongam ... Ummmmmm, are you saying only SA, and black South Africans in particular, can claim to have "fallen heroes"? I remember a day when many a white frontierist was declared a fallen hero by their own kind, only to be later proven not to be what they were asserted to be?? Seriously dude? Get rid of that HUGE chip on your shoulder.

      Marion - 2012-04-26 15:08

      @Peter-Peter - ??? Nelson Mandela spent much less that HALF of the time he was supposed to in prison...he stayed in a fully kitted house with internet and everything.??? We obviously live in different countries.

      Peter-Peter - 2012-04-26 15:18


      Marion - 2012-04-26 15:37

      @Peter-Peter - went to that link. Will just tell you what I recall about Nelson Mandela. a) he couldn't believe his ears when he got a jail sentence instead of a death sentence. b) He spent x number of years in prison on Robben Island then he was transferred to a prison in/near Cape Town where he lived in a cell. After a few years he was moved into a house (at the prison as I recall) for a few years during finalisation of the transition to democracy. c) He received many cash gifts from wealthy well-wishers when he was freed from prison d) he started his Foundation with at least part of, if not all of, his first years salary as president. This would be possible because he had received all those financial gifts before he became president. As I say, this is just what I recall. I don't take blogs seriously. Have my own and in the end what I write there is just my opinion on things unless I reference the sources of the information.

      Peter-Peter - 2012-04-26 15:49

      Those are good memories Merion, but the bottom line is that these 'struggle heroes' really do need to be taken with a pinch of salt. I have a lot of respect for the old man, and dont have a grudge against him...but the people who have fallen in front of him now, really are just a rotten bunch of drama queens.

      Adil Smit - 2012-04-26 16:55

      Peter, you probably do not have problems municipal services e.g. water supply where you live.

      Adil Smit - 2012-04-26 16:57

      And Nelson Mandela stayed in prison for longer than his sentence was

  • Thando - 2012-04-26 14:38

    Peaceful or Police shud b capacitated to deal with riot situations

      Keith - 2012-04-26 14:56

      If this had happened in 1976 there would have been a world wide outcry, but now it is just something that happens all the time in Africa.

      Marion - 2012-04-26 14:59

      @Thando - you're right. Excessive force appears to have been used.

  • Zolisa - 2012-04-26 14:41

    Our people deserve to be angry about poor service delivery but I think violence is unacceptbale bcoz it destroys community buidings such as community halls,libraries,municipal offices.I hope it is not true that Andries Tatane was violent .Violent protests will never address the problems facing our society today.People need to stop voting for people who belive in politics of the stomach.It is reported that in other african communities people do not use violence to show their anger.

  • Antipoaching - 2012-04-26 14:42

    Excessive force cannot be excused and besmirching Tatane's name is a poor defense strategy

      Peter - 2012-04-26 15:01

      Not quite boet --- specifically not where his own untainted image is used to prove that he was a goody-two-shoes on the day in question and that the SAPS had zero reason to use force. And since when do we believe absolutely everything shown on the news by the SABC and use that as the sole source for prosecution? In this instance it may very well just cause justice being denied.

      Adil Smit - 2012-04-26 16:53

      Incredible that the victim gets blamed. He was unarmed teacher.

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-04-26 14:56

    Well, then you arrest the bugger, you dont murder him.

  • boltonbarry - 2012-04-26 15:04

    Sabongam this has got nothing to do with racism. This was a black protestor killed by black policemen. I guess this is a perfect opportunity for racists like you sitting behind your PC looking for an opening to make your racist jabs. Peter has a valid point and I think this is true about this type of death all over the world. Thank you for showing us the blacks are indeed capable of racism.

  • RObert - 2012-04-26 15:07

    Then deserved to die like a dog?

  • tsietsi.koza - 2012-04-26 16:03

    Violent or not no one deserve to die like this. Its a free country if u aint satisfied with da service u a gtg u need to b heard.

  • tsietsi.koza - 2012-04-26 16:04

    Violent or not no one deserve to die like this. Its a free country if u aint satisfied with da service u a gtg u need to b heard.

  • Afrikopite - 2012-04-26 16:17

    dead body says no words. i knew this was going to happen.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-04-26 16:43

    One unarmed teacher gets beaten to death by 7 armed policemen? Incredible that he is now blamed.

  • Gerhard - 2012-04-26 18:05

    This is indeed a sad story. This incident is symbolic of our country’s decay. The police were wrong and if found guilty, must be punished. Just another example of government and police incapability to be professional. On the other hand, the teacher, also a government employee, should not have been there. He should be teaching children and not partake in protests. Not a good example been set for the children. Our tax money pay all their salaries and it is all for nothing.

  • nkadimeng - 2012-04-26 21:11

    Doesn't matter if he weren't peaceful, at that moment when you had him still alive, its when you should have locked him in the van, but instead you retaliated, and that in my opinion ain't policing, instead you decided to put a bullet into his chest

  • siphiwom - 2012-04-26 21:16

    i feel very sorry for Tatane family, his wife and kids, his mom and dad and the rest. i also feel very sorry for these poor police men who have to stand accussed for murder and assualt whilst trying to protect the innocent and the property. proper training for thiese police men would have made them act better than they had. you can see on TV when their manager are being cross examined by security parlament portfolio that we don't have leaders to lead these poor policement to do what is right. i wish the community and the society can forgive these men and women i know what they are coming from, i know. i wish this can come and go but we live peacefully there after. no decision can bring Tatane back, forgiveness and believing God's faith that all those who sin we must forgive them, and eat with them.

  • siphiwom - 2012-04-26 21:17

    all people want is good service delivery.

  • nsinovich - 2012-04-28 11:34

    In my opinion a protestor with a stone in his hands should be regarded as armed and not unarmed. A little brick on the head can be lethal ! Police also cannot be regarded to have shot unarmed (but lethally dangerous) people once they start lethal activities like throwing stones, burning cars, burning people in tyres. Also merely acting threateningly by a crowd should also be regarded as very dangerous, because threats cannot be ignored until they are acted out, as it may result in the death of innocent victims, whose lives have to be protected from the aggressor who poses lethal culpability.

  • shag.spear - 2012-05-02 10:43

    being peaceful is not a legal issue here still does justify the killing in anyway because the victim was unarmed and posed no imminent threat to police or community. i dont get why there should be debate about his character. if there is proof that he was shot with live amo ..such bullet should identify the shooter and he should be given his sentence closed

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