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Crowd management questioned in Tatane trial

The Andries Tatane trial has heard police officers did not use their batons correctly during a protest.

The mess left behind by service delivery protests in Fickburg in 2011.
SABC,Andries Tatane,South African Broadcasting Corporation,Ficksburg,Constable Kabelo Pule,Mothusi Magano,Felani Chomane,Philip Selokoe
Local

FICKSBURG - A Ficksburg court heard on Tuesday that police officers accused of assaulting and killing protestor Andries Tatane were not following the correct crowd management procedures.

Seven policemen are standing trial for beating Tatane and firing rubber bullets at him during a service delivery protest in the Free State town in 2011.

Prosecutors called Constable Kabelo Pule to identify the police officers who were caught on video fighting with Tatane and making use of batons to beat him.

Pule said that one of the accused, Mothusi Magano, was holding a shot gun, which, by the evident puff of smoke, appeared to have been fired.

Pule, who has received crowd management training, was asked to comment on how the officers handled the situation.

He explained that police were taught to use their guns and batons to disperse crowds and their batons should have been used in a specific way, unlike what happened in the video.

A South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) cameraman was called to testify in the murder trial on Monday.

An edited version of Felani Chomane's footage had previously been played in the trial in April.

Chomane proceeded to inform the court that his interest in Tatane was piqued when police rushed towards the shirtless man whose hands were in the air. Officers surrounded the man.

The cameraman then described seeing the officers fighting with Tatane, while using batons to assault him.

Chomane also confirmed he heard two gun shots.

The cameraman was unable to tell the court who had started the fight or what led to it.

The state's first witness, Philip Selokoe, told the court on Monday that Tatane was merely trying to protect a group of elderly people when police officers attacked.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)

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