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‘I heard cop kill my son over the phone’


teen boys mom

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Beverly Mokoka, the mother of the Thato Mokoka, who was shot and killed by police officers, carries a bag with the clothes her son was wearing on the day of his death. Photo: Itumeleng English

The mother of the boy who was shot at point-blank range by a police reservist is demanding answers from the police.

Beverly Mokoka said she is still haunted by the sound of gunfire that ended her 16-year-old son Thato’s life rattling “like a machinegun” in her cellphone.

Mokoka, 32, was watching a movie at about 8pm on Tuesday when she received a frantic call from a relative informing her that cops had stormed into their house in Bramfischerville Phase 2, searching for Thato.

While on the call, she heard gunshots in the background.

Alarmed, Mokoka – who lives at another house in the neighbourhood – rushed to the house, where her son stayed with her grandmother, Florence Ngcobo.

“I heard people crying. I knew something terrible had happened,” she said.

Then she saw Thato lying in a pool of blood next his backroom shack’s door.

“What they did has hurt me a lot. I don’t know why they killed him. We are supposed to trust the police, but they do this to us. I think the police don’t know what they’re doing. They are just brutal,” she said, describing Thato as a “respectful, friendly and humble” son.

A 14-year-old girl, one of the three teenagers who were with Thato when he was killed, described how policemen had stormed into the shack and assaulted them before they shot and killed Thato.

“Some hit us with their guns. They said we must produce guns. They lifted the bed but found no guns. Thato came out (of the shack) with his hands raised.”

Crying, she continued: “I heard one shot. Then Thato said ‘I didn’t do anything’. Then I heard several other shots. After the shooting, he (the policeman) put his gun next to Thato and ran away.”

Thato’s uncle, Judas Mokoka, said the family want justice. “They killed my nephew like a dog. When I arrived at the Diepkloof mortuary, everybody was sad, asking who would kill a young boy in such a way.” - The Star


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