DRD cop granted bail

Malusi Maila allegedly shot Tshepo Babuseng during a protest in Durban Deep last week.

Durban Deep residents protest over housing on 23 January 2014. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A Johannesburg police officer who allegedly shot and killed a Durban Deep protester has been granted bail of R5,000 in the Roodepoort Magistrates Court.

Tshepo Babuseng was shot in the chest last week allegedly by officer Malusi Maila.

Residents in the western Johannesburg mining area took to the streets to protest against an eviction order and a lack of RDP housing.

Charges of defeating the ends of justice against three of Maila's colleagues have been withdrawn while the state decides what new charges they will face.

Maila has officially been charged with murder and will return to court in March.

He appeared emotionless in the dock but later smiled when he looked at the packed court gallery which was manned by four heavily armed police officers from the tactical response team.

In his bail application, Maila told the court he joined the South African Police Service in 1989 and has no previous convictions.

He also said he is diabetic and believes it's not in the interest of justice for him to remain in custody.

Maila promised to comply with his bail conditions.

In a written affidavit read out in court, the warrant officer from Rosebank said the state's case against Maila was weak and he had been wrongfully accused.

Maila's firearm has been taken for ballistics testing and he will remain suspended from the police service.

He will return to court on 5 March.