Cellphones barred from Ficksburg court hearing

Journalists were barred from taking cellphones and cameras into the Ficksburg Regional Court on Tuesday ahead of the appearance of eight policemen for allegedly assaulting and killing protester Andries Tatane.

Police officers guarding the court building told journalists that no cameras would be allowed at the hearing, including those in cellphones.

The eight accused were expected to apply for bail on Tuesday.

Olebogeng Mphirime, Tehedi Moeketsie, Jonas Skosana and Mphonyane Ntaje, were facing charges of assault, and Israel Moiloa and Mothusi Maqana, charges of murder.

Two more Bloemfontein public order policing unit officers, a lieutenant-colonel and sergeant, would appear alongside them after being arrested on Wednesday.

Last week, the court agreed to a request from defence lawyer Koos de Beer to ban all cameras from court.

He said he did not want their identities revealed as identity parades were yet to be held.

Tatane was buried on Saturday after being shot dead two weeks ago.

Independent Complaints Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed that Tatane died "from shooting" when questioned about the release of the post-mortem report on the cause of Tatane's death.

South African Broadcasting Corporation television footage showed a group of policemen beating Tatane with batons. He collapsed and died 20 minutes later. - Sapa


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