Two police officers accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies in Eldorado Park last week have both been remanded in custody until their court appearance next month.
While four suspects were implicated in the shooting, two appeared briefly in the Protea Magistrates’ Court in Soweto on Monday afternoon for the first time since Julies’ shooting and subsequent death. They face charges of murder, defeating the ends of justice and the possession of prohibited ammunition.
It not yet clear if the other two alleged suspects will also face charges.
The officers were remanded in custody “for further investigations” while one of the accused was also given time to acquire legal representation.
Both accused are police officials from the Eldorado Park’s crime prevention unit.
The two were arrested on Friday, by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) after the 16-year-old, who had Down’s syndrome, was shot and killed in Eldorado Park last Wednesday night and later died in hospital.
The shooting sparked public outrage as Eldorado Park residents took to the streets to protest on Thursday, leading to violent clashes with police.
On Sunday afternoon, community members marched to the local police station and gathered outside to demand justice for Julies.
During court proceedings on Monday, community members again showed their support for the Julies family and gathered outside the court house.
Following news of Julies’ shooting political parties and civil society called for those implicated in his death to be “criminally persecuted”.
“As the EFF, we will make sure that the deceased finds justice and we will not rest until his killers are in jail,” said the EFF in a statement released last Friday.
“We will not tolerate or entertain any report post investigations that seek to whitewash the actions of the police like the South African National Defence Force did with the case of Collins Khosa, like the Marikana Commission did with the murder of the 34 mineworkers in Marikana.”
On the same day, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sympathy with the family while Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the family.
“A young, innocent soul has been killed. The allegation is that a member of the SAPS is involved in that killing, therefore, police cannot investigate themselves. That is the reason the case has been given to Ipid to investigate what exactly happened. We hope they will find what happened and we will then be able to report [back] to the community,” Cele said at the time.
The case has been postponed to September 10.