Today marks ten years since community activist Andries Tatane died after being shot with rubber bullets by police in Ficksburg.
Tatane was among a group of protestors who marched to the Setsoto municipal offices over service delivery issues in his local town. His last moments were captured live on camera while others scrambled to save his life. He was a married father of two who was unarmed and was shot while trying to intervene and protect an elderly from being sprayed with water.
One of the rubber bullets fired by public order police was fired directly at Tatane’s chest and penetrated his chest cavity, leading to his death.
Ten years later, there are still no clear guidelines on how police should use rubber bullets. Protection for the community when it comes to rubber bullets being fired to the public. Just last month, Mthokozisi Ntumba was shot and killed in similar circumstances in Braamfontein.
Independent researcher on policing, David Bruce, says a lot still needs to be looked at regarding public order protection in the country.
A court acquitted the seven police officers charged with his killing, and the State never appealed.