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Man still seeks answers six years after brother killed in De Doorns

The brother of a Lesotho national who died during protests in the Western Cape on Tuesday questioned the empathy of police after his brother was brutally tortured and murdered allegedly by officers.

FILE: Protesters at De Doorns place panels from a dismantled fence on the N1 highway on 9 January 2013. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The brother of a Lesotho national who died during protests in the Western Cape on Tuesday questioned the empathy of police after his brother was brutally tortured and murdered allegedly by officers.

Letsekang Thokoane was killed during violent protests in 2013 at a wine farm in De Doorns.

Workers were demanding a wage increase from R69 a day to R150 when police opened fire on them.

Investigative unit Viewfinder made documents available to Eyewitness News in which a paper trail of reports by the Public Protector's office and by Ipid's risk and ethics department point to a systemic failure to properly investigate cases.

In 2013, 25-year-old Thokoane - a spaza shop assistant - was found suffering from severe injuries in a township in De Doorns called Elubisi.

Speaking in an upcoming documentary film, A Killing in The Wine Lands, by Viewfinder his brother, Atang, said life for them was just about to get better when Letsekang died.

He was seen being assaulted by police.

The brother said he was deeply hurt that six years on, nobody had been held accountable for the murder: “I would have been better if he was in an accident… there is still no investigation.”

An eyewitness said he saw what happened: “They began to beat him up and I heard three gunshots. Four men emerged from the house carrying him by his legs and feet.”

Ipid officials have admitted that cases were completed without proper investigations and between April 2012 and March 2019, only 531 cases of the 42,000 that were reported ended with criminal convictions.

While Thokoane's story has still not been resolved six years on, Ipid still insists his case has not been closed and is still being investigated.

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