Four cops arrested in Krugersdorp ‘execution’ case

Still images of CCTV footage were first published by the 'Sunday Times' over the past weekend.

FILE: A screengrab from a video showing a police officerS shooting criminal Khulekani Mpanza in Krugersdorp.

JOHANNESBURG - Four police officers have been arrested for the murder of 32-year-old Khulekani Mpanza, who was caught by police for an attempted robbery.

Still images of CCTV footage were first published by the Sunday Times over the past weekend.

They showed how two weeks ago Mpanza was caught by the officers and then shot dead while lying on a pavement.

The suspect had opened fire at police officers before being chased and shot.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Robbie Raburabu says an investigation led to the arrests.

"Three gentlemen, two sergeants and one constable, and one constable lady have been arrested for the murder. They will appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court tomorrow."

Raburabu says four officers foiled a robbery at a shop in Krugersdorp two weeks ago, and the armed suspect fled on foot.

"The suspect was shot and killed by the police."

Video footage shows Mpanza being shot while he was lying wounded on a pavement.

At the same time, questions have now been raised as to whether the police service has enough psychological support.

Head of the South African Police Services psychological division Gerrit Nothnagel says police work under compromising situations.

"The policemen are in the community and from the community so they need to look after [themselves]. At the same time it's the same community that is killing them. It then makes it very difficult for them to decide on what to do and what not to do."

But he says the police service is improving.

"I don't think we have enough psychologists, for instance in Gauteng, it is an unfortunate case, but we have a process in place where we can refer the police to internal psychologists."

Earlier this year, eight Daveyton police officers were convicted of the murder of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia after a video of the officers dragging him behind a police van went viral.

'HE WASN'T A THREAT TO THE POLICE'

Earlier today, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said there was no excuse for the behaviour of the police officer who deliberately shot and killed the unarmed Mpanza.

Questions were being asked about why some police are conducting themselves in this manner.

The institute's Johan Burger said the shooting was very different to a situation where officers make a split second decision.

"Here the police officer had all the time in the world to consider his actions after the suspect fell after the first shot, he was already incapacitated."

At the same time, Burger conceded that there are a number of emotional reasons that should be considered.

"There is a lot frustration amongst police officers… The fact that so many of their colleagues die every year as a result of criminal action."

The ISS also raised concerns about why police officers didn't react or try to stop their colleague.

Burger said police should show a level of professionalism and, in this instance, the officer had ample time to consider his actions.

"What is [as concerning] as the shooting itself, is that the other officers [were] standing around and they [took] no action to intervene and to stop this particular constable."

The ISS says the shocking CCTV footage doesn't show that he was a threat to the police at the time.