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24 Apr 2011 07:39
Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane, who died after allegedly being shot by police two weeks ago, was laid to rest on Saturday, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Speaking at the funeral service in Meqheleng township, provincial cooperative governance, traditional affairs and human settlement minister Mamiki Qabathe said the community was still angry by the death of Tatane (33).
She called on religious leaders to help to bring peace and stability to Ficksburg.
Qabathe’s speech was marred by disruptions from the thousands of mourners attending the service.
Family members said that Tatane—who had been a religious man—died fighting for what he believed in.
The Tatane family also asked supporters of political parties not to turn his funeral into a political spectacle by singing party songs.
Provincial minister for sports, arts and culture Dan Khothule and Congress of the People leader Mosioua Lekota were among the dignitaries attending.
Molefi Nonyane, the man who was pictured holding Tatane after he had been shot, told the mourners that he and Tatane were “spiritually ill” due to poor service delivery in the area.
Resident said they have had inadequate service delivery for almost four years.
SABC television footage showed a group of policemen beating the unarmed Tatane with batons.
Twenty minutes later he collapsed and died. It is believed that he was shot with a rubber bullet.
Residents of Meqheleng were marching to the Ficksburg municipal offices to hand over a memorandum relating to service delivery.
Eight policemen have appeared in court in connection with Tatane’s death and the case has been postponed to April 26.
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