Tatane witness selective with evidence

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IOL tatane apr 23 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane.

 The Ficksburg Regional Court on Tuesday heard that State witness Phillip Selokoe was selective in his testimony before the court.

The court was hearing evidence in the murder and assault trial of seven Free State public order policemen accused of murdering Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane in April last year.

Tatane was shot and beaten, allegedly by the police, during a service delivery march and protest that turned violent, in front of the Setsoto local municipality building.

Defence counsel Johann Nel grilled Selokoe on the type of items that were thrown at the municipal building and a group of leaders moments before police stepped in to try to control the situation.

Selokoe testified earlier that the crowd threw items at the municipal building and leaders, and that a stone had hit the glass front doors of the building. The situation became uncontrollable as more items flew in the same direction.

Nel wanted to know what sort of items they were.

Selokoe testified it was “various items” and that he was trying to get out of the way at the time.

“Was it watermelons, apples, pears, bottles, what was it?” Nel wanted to know.

Selokoe replied it was various items.

“You want to tell the court you could not tell or identify any one item thrown,” Nel asked.

“Maybe cool-drink cans,” Selokoe answered.

Nel said “maybe” could not be an answer and asked again whether the flying objects were stones, bottle or shoes.

Selokoe said it was difficult to be specific.

Nel told the court he was shocked that Selokoe would come to court and adjust his testimony.

Nel argued that Selokoe had earlier testified that the crowd threw stones, but on Tuesday he was unable to remember the fact.

“You contradict yourself in evidence,” argued Nel, in referring to events in front of the municipal building.

“Today you know nothing, why did you tell the State it was stones (on Monday), (but) today you do not know the items?”

Selokoe answered that he told the court it was different items, including stones.

Nel argued that this was not the case, but it was an indication of what type of witness Selokoe was.

The case continues. - Sapa

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