Tatane: ANC welcomes arrest of six police officers

Jackson Mthembu questions SABC's airing of unsanitisied footage of killing


The African National Congress (ANC) welcomes the arrest over the weekend and today's (Monday, 18 April 2011) appearance before the Ficksburg Magistrate's Court of six police officers charged with last week's brutal assault and murder of teacher and political activist Andries Tatane.

The swift action by the Independent Complaints Directorate to bring the perpetrators to book sends a good signal to all South Africans that no one - not even police officers - are above the law in this country. This matter is now best left to our capable judiciary and other organs of State to deal with.

The ANC therefore, calls for calm in Ficksburg. During this time, we urge our people to give our judiciary a chance to effectively deal with those behind the brutal death of Mr Tatane. We have confidence in the independence of our judicial system and hope for a ruling that will send a strong message to those bent on violating human rights under the guise of maintaining law and order.

We have also noted that while some commentators have condemned the ANC's reaction to the television coverage of the incident, some have come to our support - especially taking into account the insensitivity of showing grim visuals to insensitive viewers who included Mr Tatane's two young children and his wife.

While we think exposing human rights violation constitutes good journalism, we maintain that it was editorial oversight to have shown raw, unsanitised and unedited visuals of the death of Mr Tatane without taking much consideration of the reaction from the family and other sensitive viewers, particularly the young and elderly.

Statement issued by Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesperson, April 18 2011

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