S Africa police filmed 'shooting unarmed suspect dead'

Four police officers surrender themselves after surveillance video of them shooting a suspected robber is broadcast.

    One of the stills from CCTV footage that showed the police officers shooting the robbery suspect at close range [YouTube/Sunday Times]
    One of the stills from CCTV footage that showed the police officers shooting the robbery suspect at close range [YouTube/Sunday Times]

    Four South African police officers have surrendered themselves after a surveillance video of them shooting a suspected robber was broadcast.

    The footage released by the country's Sunday Times newspaper late last week showed a uniformed member of the South African Police Service fatally shooting a suspect at close range after he had dropped his pistol and kicking him as he lay on the pavement. 

    "They [the police officers] have handed themselves in and we arrested them," Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokeswoman, Grace Langa, said on Monday.

    "Three males and a female. They are facing charges of murder, but we might add other charges." 

    The suspect, identified as Khulekani Mpanza, fired at police while attempting an armed robbery.

    Officers chased him from the scene to the point where he was killed on the pavement in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

    Langa said the officers would remain in custody overnight despite their pleas for the process be expedited, and will appear before a magistrates court on Tuesday.

    "They were stressed. They were requesting the investigators to [allow them to] appear in court. But there is no special treatment," Langa said. 

    Police brutality

    South African police have been accused of brutality in the past.

    In 2013, a Mozambican taxi driver died after being dragged in the street from a police vehicle in an incident that was filmed while a crowd watched.

    Eight former police officers involved in the death were convicted of murder earlier this year and await sentencing.

    There have been a series of cases of police using inordinate force against civilians in recent years, the worst being the 2012 Marikana massacre where 34 striking mine workers were shot by police.

    Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has said police are under threat in a country with a high rate of violent crime. 

    He noted that 60 police had been killed so far in 2015, 27 of them while on duty.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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