TUT shooting: Cops will have to wait until March to hear if they will be prosecuted for murder

Captain Joseph Rapoo and Constable John Slender covering their faces during their first court appearance. (Alex Mitchley, News24)
Captain Joseph Rapoo and Constable John Slender covering their faces during their first court appearance. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Two police officers charged with the murder of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student Katlego Monareng are expected to find out whether they will be prosecuted in March.

Captain Joseph Rapoo, 51, and Constable John Slender, 38, made a brief appearance in the Soshanguve Magistrate's Court on Friday, where their case was postponed.

The court heard that the matter was now with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision, which means that the two officers will find out whether the case will proceed to trial when they reappear on March 29.

Read: TUT students plan to march after cops granted bail

Rapoo and Slender were granted bail in October last year, after the State said it would not oppose bail as neither of the police officers were seen as a flight risk, nor would the men interfere with the investigation and witnesses.

Both accused also said they intended to plead not guilty to the charges and wanted to stand trial in order to clear their names.

Magistrate Hanlie Luus, in her judgment, said that both accused had made a case for bail, and she set it at R2 000 each.

Monareng was shot dead in August during violent protests, following TUT student representative council elections on the Soshanguve campus.

At the time of the protests, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said police had been called to the scene after students allegedly held a presiding officer hostage and assaulted him.

Read more: IPID nabs alleged 'shooter' and 'commanding officer' for TUT student's murder

As police headed out, about 200 students barricaded the entrance to the campus.

"The police reported that they fired at the ground with R5 rifles and that, when they left, no one was injured, but police vehicles were damaged. The police were later informed that a student had been shot and injured," Dlamini said at the time.

According to information reliably received by News24 on Monday, it is alleged that the constable was the shooter and that the captain was the commanding officer who allegedly gave the order to open fire.

Dlamini said evidence that IPID had collected did not confirm the men's version that they had shot toward the ground. As a result, both were charged with murder.

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