South African police arrested for murder

  • Published
Media caption,
The BBC's Nomsa Maseko reports on police brutality in South Africa

Four police officers have been arrested over Thursday's deadly shooting of a protester in South Africa.

Tshepo Babuseng, 28, was shot, allegedly by a policeman, at a protest over housing outside Johannesburg.

Initial reports say a crowd charged at a group of policemen who were trying to clear debris on a blockaded road, one policeman then allegedly opened fire.

One officers faces murder charges, the others are accused of "defeating the ends of justice".

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
South Africa's police minister said officers were not trained to kill

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said the officers aged 33-49 would appear in court soon.

"After receiving the initial factual report on the incident it was decided that there is enough evidence to arrest and charge the member who fired the shots for murder as well as defeating the ends [of justice] and the others for defeating the ends of justice," Mr Malila said in a statement.

Police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), says it will conduct an internal investigation in light of the seriousness of the allegations.

The officers have been suspended pending the outcome of the case.

South Africa's police are frequently accused of brutality and using improper crowd management techniques including the use of live ammunition.

Earlier this week, following the deadly shooting of four people at a separate protest, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that police who kill members of the public would not be protected.

"Police in South Africa are trained to protect and serve. They are not trained to be killers of the public," he said.

In 2012, police shot dead 34 striking mineworkers in Marikana - the most deadly incident involving the security forces since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Last year, officers were filmed tying a man to their vehicle before dragging him down the road as they drove off. He was later found dead.

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