Tatane case resumes in Ficksburg

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Johannesburg - The trial of seven police officers charged with killing protester Andries Tatane will continue in the Ficksburg Regional Court on Monday.

Tatane was killed on April 13, 2011, allegedly by police using rubber bullets during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg.

The case was postponed last year after the State cast doubt on its own witness, Captain Matshidio Lesomola.

He had been deployed in an observer capacity at the protest.

Prosecutor Sello Mathloko said the State had not been aware of the testimony Lesomola delivered, which was not the same as his statement to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) a few days after the shooting.

Mathloko said Lesomola had earlier read through his statement but had not indicated that it contained any discrepancies as he later alleged in his testimony in court.

Asked by Mathloko whether he had read the statement, Lesomola said: “Not really, because I was somewhat traumatised, confronted with so many pages, I just signed and went away.”

Given an opportunity in court to indicate with which portions of the statement he was not happy, Lesomola avoided being declared hostile.

He testified that he had not willingly made his statement to the IPID and alleged that after watching a video of the protest, he was threatened by two investigators. - Sapa

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