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Tatane's family disappointed with court ruling

Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane’s family are shocked after his alleged killers were set free.

Andries Tatane's widow, Rose. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/Eyewitness news

FICKSBURG - Family and friends of slain Free State protestor Andries Tatane on Thursday said they were shell-shocked after the Ficksburg Regional Court acquitted all seven police officers accused of his murder.

Tatane died during a service delivery protest in April 2011.

He was beaten and shot with rubber bullets.

The incident was captured on film by a South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) cameraman.

Tatane's family struggled to understand how prosecutors could fail them so miserably.

"We are totally not happy with this judgment."

But magistrate Hein van Niekerk, who handed down the ruling, had little choice as nobody could positively identify the accused.

He said video footage showed Tatane acting aggressively towards police on the day of the protest and even assaulting an officer.

He said the state failed to prove officers intentionally tried to murder him.